Tulsa purchases 450 body cameras for officers

The Tulsa Police Department has ordered 450 body-worn cameras for all officers who work in the field.

Over the past several months, 40 Tulsa police officers have field-tested the body-worn camera system throughout the city. TPD officials say they have found the camera system to be beneficial as the body-worn cameras not only provide transparency, but have provided valuable video evidence in several investigations.

Several incidents involving police shootings raised public opinion for the use of body cameras.

“The Tulsa Commission on Community Policing recommended deployment of body cameras for patrol officers, and this order is an important step in reaching our goal of deployment by the end of this calendar year,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

Many logistical and technical steps need to occur before the body-worn cameras are ready to fully deploy, but the Tulsa Police Department has reached a milestone from transitioning to the testing phase to the large-scale deployment phase.

Before the body-worn camera system can be deployed, all patrol cars must receive hardware updates for the new body-worn cameras and officer training of the new system will occur.

The police body-worn camera system was one of 77 recommendations submitted by the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing.

Also, during the month of July, the Tulsa Police Department Riverside Traffic Unit will focus on posted speed and hazardous moving violations on both the Broken Arrow Expressway (west of South Sheridan Road) and the Okmulgee Beeline (US 75).

Riverside Traffic Unit Officers will be randomly monitoring these expressways in the Riverside Division throughout the month and paying special attention to any hazardous moving violations on those highways.

A citation issued for speeding ranges in cost from $150 to up to $500 and/or 10 days in jail. Police say no warnings will be issued.

Police want to remind drivers stay alert, refrain from using all electronic communication devices, buckle their seatbelts and heed all warning signs while driving.  Drivers are also encouraged to use caution and pay special attention to the posted speed limits at all times.

It is the goal of the Riverside Traffic Unit to reduce the frequency and severity of collisions occurring within the city of Tulsa, according to a press release.