WKU police go live with new body cameras; what do students have to say?

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – This week, the Western Kentucky University Police Department officially introduced body and in-cruiser cameras. 

The WKU police just started live recording with their body cameras and cruiser cameras for the first time this Monday.

Each officer and each cruiser has a camera, totaling nearly 40 cameras that record all throughout the day.

The WKU Police say they’re still working out the glitches, but they believe the new cameras will help both the officers and the WKU community.

WKU Police Department public information officer Melissa Bailey said, “It’s not something that we’ve gotten to get our officers in trouble with or anything like that. There are great benefits to having body cameras and cruiser cams. It captures live evidence. It just holds our agency more accountable and shows our community that we are trying to be transparent with the community that we are policing.”

The cameras are always recording voice and sound unless the officers manually stop the videos. If the officers pull out their guns, start running or even fall in a motion that could indicate there’s an officer down, the recording will automatically kick on save for evidence purposes. 

So, what do the Hilltoppers think about the new recording devices? 

Freshman Dashton Mudd said, “I think it’s a good thing to have around campus. I don’t see why that would be a bad thing.”

Sophomore Seth Lawson said, “They should always have them on and always have them just in case they do something wrong.” 

Sophomore Claudette Uwera said, “Honestly, you’re the first person that I’ve heard it from. I really don’t care because I didn’t know about it, but I think it makes me feel safe knowing that there’s people watching us looking over us.”

Freshman Omaree Oneal said, “I think having cameras as well would be really good.”

Freshman Gabriella Goodwin said, “I think it definitely makes me feel safer that the police have cameras on them because it’s scary living in a college town sometimes.”

Freshman Dorian Laine said, “Just the fact that there’s going to be video evidence for any encounter with the police and any of the civilians here makes me feel a lot more protected.”

The campus police department, commonwealth attorney’s office and the county’s attorney office will all have access to the camera footage.