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TPD body cams could be game changer for officers

Sergeant Richard Meulenberg said the cameras are a great way for the public to keep an eye on the cops and for the cops to keep any eye on the public. (KTUL)

Even 20 years on the force couldn't take away his inner geek.

Tulsa Police Sergeant Richard Meulenberg keeps a collection of old cameras behind his desk.

"This is just my collection of antiquities," said Meulenberg.

A full-time cop with a love of photography on the side makes him the perfect guy to be in charge of the new body cameras.

"We received the shipment a few weeks ago of cameras," said Meulenberg.

It was Christmas come early: Forty body cameras, ready for field testing.

But it's just the beginning.

"To put a body camera on every single officer that has frequent contact with citizens," said Meulenberg.

In all, the department wants just more than 400 cameras.

Meulenberg said the cameras are a great way for the public to keep an eye on the cops and for the cops to keep any eye on the public.

"We also want to show them that some of the citizens aren't as nice as you think they are," said Meulenberg. "And the camera is going to show that intimate encounter that we have with them."

The body cameras could cost anywhere from $500 to around $1,500 each. Fortunately for the tax payer, TPD has some help.

"The DOJ has provided us with $599,000 to buy cameras," said Meulenberg. "We're the only agency in the entire state of Oklahoma who has received funding to buy cameras under this grant."

Meulenberg hopes to have all of the cameras up and running by September 2017.

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