WPD initiates use of body cameras

Nathan Johnson | Intern

Beginning this month, criminal activity in the city of Wilmington, N.C. will be monitored.

Police around Wilmington are embracing the use of personal body video cameras. However, the UNC Wilmington police department currently does not have this technology implemented.

“We do not use body cams,” UNCW Police Major Christian Bertram said.

The Wilmington Police Department has purchased 37 video cameras for their police officers. The New Hanover Country Sheriff’s Office wants to equip all their deputies with the cameras. All Wrightsville Beach Police officers wear body cameras.

Body cameras allow for an accurate depiction of what happened at the scene of a crime, or during an altercation.

UNC Wilmington Police provide security services and coverage for the university. Their officers cover the entire campus with a patrolling system. The officers are split up into four teams that patrol each part of the university.

When asked if the UNCW Police Department have any plans to incorporate body cameras on their officers, the answer was no for now.

“At the present time we do not,” Bertram said.

UNCW senior Max Kolisch reflected on his experiences on the UNCW campus and feels that UNCW could benefit from police wearing body cameras.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Kolisch said. “It would help out.”

The issue of privacy is a concern for Kolisch and potentially other students if UNCW Police were to implement body cameras.

“There is the privacy issue and you do not want them recording without you knowing,” Kolisch said. “It would depend on the use of it. Would it be at convocation or is it just randomly while they are patrolling?”

When asked about any future plans for body cameras, the UNCW Police Department declined to comment.