Opelousas Police Getting Body Cams; Training Now

OPELOUSAS, LA (AP) — Opelousas police officers are being trained to use body cameras and should be wearing them in about a week, Chief Perry Gallow says.

         Gallow said he decided to act now partly because of grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in deaths in Ferguson, MO, and in New York City, The Daily World’s William Johnson reported.

         "This is an age in which law enforcement isn't believed as much as in the past," Gallow said.

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         He said the department bought 30 of the $400 cameras, which can record in low light, produce high-resolution images and have a wide field of focus. The cameras may also record crime scene evidence missed by a patrol office focused on arresting someone, Gallow said.

         All officers will wear them.

         Officer Romalis Thomas was one of the first to be trained to use a body camera.

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         "I love it," he said. "I think this will be a very helpful tool and will help with solving crimes."

         The cameras may also keep arrests and other incidents from getting out of hand, he said.

         "Both the officer and individual will be on their best behavior because they know they are being videotaped," Thomas said.

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