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Greenville police cameras used as model policy across country

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Officers in Greenville have a secret weapon departments across the country are paying close attention to.

A man who rolled through a stop sign may not have seen it, but a camera did. Not a camera on an patrol car, but rather an officer.  

"Whenever I'm on duty the camera’s with me,” said Advanced Patrol Officer, Jeff Buffaloe.

It’s something Greenville police have used since last December. Every patrol car has a mounted camera and about 40% of patrol officers have a body camera. They’re hoping to up that percentage within the next year.

"The video doesn't lie. It is what it is,” said Buffaloe.

The Walmart shootings in Greenville were captured on Axon cameras, worn by the responding officers. That video is now waiting in evidence.

The cameras are used in all sorts of scenarios. They become especially handy to officers when it’s time to take a case to court. Officers can even access all the videos through an app on their phone.

 “A lot of times people will say something, will do things that we see on a normal basis and if they knew they were being filmed would more than likely not say and they would definitely not do,” said Buffaloe.

Just a few weeks ago, Greenville police chief Hassan Aden traveled to Washington D.C. He gave a presentation on the cameras to more than 300 police chiefs across the country.

"It really does provide a high level of transparency and it gives a level of perspective that there's no other way to get it,” said Aden.

North Carolina is a one party consent state. That means anyone can record you without your permission.

Any given day, any of us walking around in any city, you're on tape 6 to 7 times, either through an ATM camera or some other camera that might be out there. So this is just a way for us to have our own video that's preserved and validated as evidence. I think it's a responsible way to move into the future,” said Aden.

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