Kentucky State Police get new body-worn cameras for the first time in state history

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 19:34:51-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — For the first time in the state's history, Kentucky State Police will have a body-worn camera system. At today's demonstration of the integrated system which includes body cameras and vehicle cams, troopers explained how this will help build trust between the community and law enforcement.

Trooper 1st Class Jack Gabriel says, "The public will be able to see the work that we're doing every day and they'll be able to support us even further in what we do."

Trooper Gabriel has been with KSP since 2011, and for the first time in 2020, he got to work with this new system, testing its abilities. KSP consulted other agencies and ran many tests before selecting the Motorola system. It's something Gabriel says will change the way they work.

He says, "A little bit of a growing — growing curve just because it's a new piece of equipment I have to think about during the day, but after utilizing it for so long, I was feeling like I'm missing something when I don't have it. It's been a great tool, for court testimony, for investigations, documenting scenes."


In 2021, Governor Beshear announced plans to improve public safety and that included $12.2 million for KSP to get this recording system. At today's demonstration, KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. explained how that's helped the agency.

"Over the years, our agency has looked at several different types of systems and funding has always been an issue — because digital evidence storage cost are extremely high. With an agency as large as ours, such costs even become more evident,” says Burnett.

With 900 KSP personnel, the agency now has more than 500 integrated systems and more than 700 body-worn cameras. Both cameras can be triggered automatically or manually. KSP will also hire nearly 30 civilian employees to document, maintain the system and video footage. Overall, the state agency hopes that this will provide more transparency.

"There's gonna be different hurdles that we'll probably encounter but overall, the intent is a genuine intent, and we look forward to being able to show the work that we do,” says Gabriel.

KSP says they hope to roll out all of these devices by the end of 2023.