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BEREA, Ky. (FOX 56) — After a year with their new body cams the Berea Police Department is grateful for them.

Chief Eric Scott said the new system is more helpful than harmful and as he reflects over the past year, he could not be more proud of the new system.

Using body cameras has shifted the culture of the police department toward more accountability and transparency, according to Scott.

In one instance, two police officers tried to arrest a man they said was shoplifting. The suspect was in a scuffle with officers and then he escaped.

“And as we’re going to put him in handcuff, I remember when we all were here and all of our body cameras started to get an alert,” said Scott.

Berea’s top cop said it’s often difficult to decipher who is right and who is wrong, but the video speaks for itself.

“We can distribute it to the court system, to our police department, and any involved parties, and so what it does is it takes that hard drive outside of our PD so there is no manipulation of the footage,” said Scott.

Officer Barry Manley, who is seen in the video during the encounter said the body camera is a safety net for everybody.

“It gives us that extra just know and like hey, this notification goes straight to dispatch and all the other officers on shift and if I am not able to use my radio then they know from that body-worn,” said Manley.

After a year with the new body camera system, Scott said it brings responsibility.

“It is real transparency; I want to know if we have an issue within our agency that we need to train on. It helps me as a police chief hold our guys accountable,” said Scott

Scott said he is looking forward to more engagement with his community and more training with his officers on mental health.

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