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COVID-19 pandemic may delay body cameras for KPD officers

Mayor Indya Kincannon said that she was working with the Knoxville Police Department to equip officers with body cameras by July 1.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Officials with the Knoxville Police Department said that they are still working to equip officers with body cameras, despite issues from the spread COVID-19.

Mayor Indya Kincannon said that she was working with the Knoxville Police Department to give officers body-worn camera systems by July 1. However, officials with KPD said that the original timeline may have been affected since businesses closed their doors to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials with the police department said that since businesses have been forced to limit operations, diminish staff and have run into other issues associated with the spread of COVID-19, it may take more time to give officers body cameras.

A call for Knoxville police to wear body cameras came out after an officer-involved shooting in August. Channara "Philly" Pheap, 33, was shot and killed by KPD K-9 Officer Dylan Williams after a struggle.

Williams was cleared of charges. Mayor Indya Kincannon later said she would make sure KPD officers were equipped with body cameras in 2020.

In October 2019, Knoxville Police said they would begin testing camera systems with four officers. They said that policies needed to be put into place before the testing phase began.

Officials did not say how much the timeline may have been affected, but they did say that the department is working to move forward with the plan.

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