Thomson Police Department builds transparency through body cameras

CSRA News

THOMSON, Ga. (WJBF)- There’s new equipment to help police do their jobs in Thomson, Georgia. The force is growing. They’ve added three new officers in the past few weeks.

After months of testing to remove the small issues and find an effective attachment for their uniforms, the officers of the Thomson Police Department are now wearing body cameras to help protect themselves and the people they serve.

NewsChannel 6 spoke to Chief Anson Evans about the use of the body cameras.
“I’m so glad to have them because it allows me to plan to the program that I brought to Thomson about being transparent. It is very important that we are very transparent with our citizens,” says Chief Evans.

Chief Evans says the department has had the cameras for a while, but were not in use because the clips would not keep the cameras attached to the uniforms. After some research and being smart on a budget– they were able to find a mount fit for the job.

“I think we paid no more than $50 for each of them. The cameras back two or three years ago, might have cost maybe $200 or $300 a piece. So now we got a piece of equipment that’s going to last us ,” says Chief Evans.

He says wearing the camera is a department policy and any police officer that violates the body camera policy could be suspended or fired. People we talked to in Thomson say the police department is moving in the right direction.

“In the short time he’s been here, I’ve seen some positive changes come about. Before nothing was being done out here. Crime was up and I think he’s bringing it down,” says Jesse Reese who lives in Thomson.

Others say those cameras provide peace of mind.

“I think it’s a good idea, it protects the individual and the police officer at all times,” says Alice Bourgoin a resident of Thomson.

The cameras will help counter complaints from the public and improve traffic enforcement operations as well as problem solving.

“Having that footage, that personal one on one view, you can’t beat that when it comes to policing because now you can also use that footage as a training aid,” says Thomson Police Chief Evans.


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