CMPD to increase number of automated body-worn cameras on officers

Murder, robbery and aggravated assault were all up in Charlotte for 2016. 

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said he's making changes right now to keep the public safe.

"If you feel wrong, I want to know about it. If you have been wronged, I want to do something about it," he said. 

In 2016, Charlotte spoke out loud and clear after an officer shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in September.

Now, in 2017, CMPD said it's listening and making changes.

Chief Kerr Putney said this year; more officers will have body cameras.

"Our tactical officers - be it VCAT or SWAT - are also going to have body cameras. We're trying to be as transparent as we can. We've heard the feedback from the community and we're trying to meet their expectations," Chief Putney explained. 

And those cameras will be automated.

"We're trying to take human error element out. We want to automate the trigger so that when the blue lights come on, the body-worn camera comes on," he said. 

Former protesters - now members of 'Heal Charlotte' – said they’re happy to see the change.

"I think that's a great way to show transparency that way it can't be, 'I forgot to turn my camera on' or anything of that nature. It can be out there," said Antuan Smith.

Last year, the department received 177 formal complaints that led to a full investigation. Forty-one of those complaints came from the public.

“Just don't sit on your butt if you see a problem. Be active. If there's an officer who did something wrong, make a real complaint or contact us and we'll make the complaint for you," said Greg Jackson with ‘Heal Charlotte.

The chief said he's also sending rank and file officers to other countries to break stereotypes.

"We sent 30 police officers to Mexico in an immersion program to better connect with our Mexican community here locally."

With CMPD listening and making changes, 'Heal Charlotte' said the community also needs to do its part.

"It's good to get this information out, but it's also good to take this information and move forward and keep active," said Jackson.