WPD getting 70 more body cameras, chief wants more help

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is getting more body cameras, but the Chief says he needs more help.

Body cameras are nothing new to the Wilmington Police, but soon 70 more of its officers will have them.

“It’s not going to fix all the problems, but what it will do is help protect our citizens and help protect our officers,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said.

Evangelous said protection is what they need, because in the last year, attacks on american police are becoming more frequent and more violent.

“It’s getting worse and worse and our officers are concerned,” Evangelous said. “They are wondering if they are going to come home at night.”

City council just approved the appropriation of $60,000 as part of a federal grant for the 70 new body cameras and Evangelous eventually wants even more, but he said he needs something else first.

“Video does us no good unless someone is actually looking at it,” Evangelous said.

Evangelous said he wants council to consider hiring another employee to audit the video and not just for protection.

“At times, we only see the unfortunate, bad things that happen, but every single day there is a heck of a lot of great work and police work that is happening out there that we never see,” Evangelous said.

Whether it is the great video or the bad video,  Evangelous said he needs an auditor before he can utilize any of the video.

The chief said, with the new cameras, the department will have about 120 body cameras and they already have about 170 cameras in the patrol cars. Evagelous said his sergeants are the ones auditing the video now, but he wants them to be in the field. He said he will bring a proposal to council for another employee to manage the video in the near future.


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