MBPD prepares to launch new 'body' cameras

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach already has surveillance cameras spread throughout downtown - but now, more specialized cameras will be put to use as early as next week.

Police officers who patrol the Boardwalk, Ocean Boulevard and surrounding areas will wear cameras on their shirts as an extra tool to keep the community and the officers safe.

"This is just another tool for law enforcement to use another piece of evidentiary equipment that they can have to show what actually happened at a scene Just like cars equipped with dash cams officers assigned to a patrol vehicle have that as a piece of evidence," Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes said.

But there's a major difference with these new cameras versus dash cameras.

"These officers that we have that work along Ocean Boulevard ride a bike walk, ride in a golf cart, they're going to have something else also that will be able to be used for evidence. Either for a crime and incident that they may be involved in or even an interaction they have with a citizen," Capt. Knipes said.

Captain Knipes said this option is cheaper rather than hiring a new police officer.

"Obviously one officer is going to cost a lot more money than one camera is because it's a thousand dollars versus and officer who will make a salary plus benefits that will be a lot more than that," Captain Knipes said.

The city bought 10 cameras at $1,000 each.

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