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City council to vote to purchase body cams for Knoxville Police Department

The call for body cams came after an officer-involved shooting in August.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Knoxville's city council is set to vote on getting body cameras and upgraded police cruiser cameras for the Knoxville Police Dept. on July 28.

Council will be asked to authorize Mayor Indya Kincannon to enter a $4.9 million dollar, five-year contract with Arizona-based Axon Enterprise Inc. for 350 new body-worn cameras and 350 upgraded police cruiser cameras.

The contract would also cover ongoing operational costs and could be extended as needed.

“The community wants this, the Knoxville Police Department wants this, and we’re working hard to get this implemented as soon as possible,” Mayor Kincannon said.

The call for body cameras came after a KPD officer shot and killed Channara "Philly" Pheap after a struggle last August. The officer was cleared of charges, but the community called for more transparency.

RELATED: COVID-19 pandemic may delay body cameras for KPD officers

RELATED: KPD officer cleared in fatal shooting of Philly Pheap

Recent unrest across the nation has also spurred more cities to consider installing the equipment as a way to be transparent and aid officers in the field.  

City officials evaluated proposals from seven vendors for upgraded in-car police vehicle cameras and new body-worn cameras.

If approved, officials hope to roll out the new cameras this fall, maybe as early as September.

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