New policy to allow Lynchburg school resource officers to use body cameras on school grounds

LCS, LPD will update memorandum of understanding with new bodycam policy

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The next time there's a physical altercation on school grounds and school resource officers have to get involved a body-worn device may come in handy. 

"We'll double activate this (body camera), it will actually rewind 30 seconds before we get to up to what we have to deal with and it shows everything that's going on at a close perspective,” Sgt. Gary Fink, supervisor of school resource officers, said. 

Lynchburg City Schools and the Lynchburg Police Department are looking to update their memorandum of understanding. It’s an agreement between both agencies. 

"We had had it in the works prior to the chief resigning, that we wanted to incorporate something into the MOU about their use of the body cameras and then how the school division might be able to view the video,” Ben Copeland, deputy superintendent, said.

Right now school leaders say there's a verbal agreement that school resource officers will be able to activate their body cameras on campus. 

Once a new police chief has been hired, Lynchburg City Schools, Police Department and the city attorney will sit together to develop the formal agreement.

"We've got video systems within the school building but that body camera is right here,” Copeland said.

"It also helps the administrators when they deal with suspensions and referrals to be able to hear what's actually being said,” Fink said.
Police say there have not been any incidents where they had to use their body camera but it's best to plan ahead. 

"The plan for anything is to preplan and have things in place so that when something does come up there's not any questions or any concerns about what policies and procedures followed,” Fink said.