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Knoxville Police Using Periscope To Live Stream Traffic Stops

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Knoxville Police Using Periscope To Live Stream Traffic Stops

Is police use of periscope during live traffic stops a good idea?

Would you be upset if it happened to you?

Tough call, but apparently the police like it…

cop

Local8Now has more of the story…

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- If you ever wondered what a normal day on the streets is like for a police officer, you may now have the chance to find out. Knoxville police are using a streaming video app that allows you to ride along as they hand out tickets and make arrests. But, it’s raising some questions.

Local 8 News spoke to department’s Pubic Information Officer, Darrell Debusk about the new technique.

“The chief had the camera. He was actually doing the ‘scoping’ as they call it. He was talking a little bit, we were responding sometimes,” said Debusk.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch started live tweeting on Friday nights.

“We began by actually Periscoping some events, some press conferences. We got some good feedback on that. We decided to take it to the next level,” said Debusk.

So how does the app work? Local 8 News spoke with John McCulley, digital media manager at Moxley Carmichael.

“What it allows you to do is live stream from a mobile or tablet. Anyone who has the link can watch,” said McCulley.

The app was bought out by Twitter so it’s linked to a person’s Twitter account. People watching can comment and ask questions if they want.

People can see the arrests happening in real time. But this raises the question … is it legal?

“That’s something we are working on. Making sure we are following the same rules we enforce. That’s not identifying individuals who shouldn’t be identified,” said Debusk.

Tennessee law allows you to record in a public place as long as you aren’t using it for criminal purposes.

McCulley says the app was gaining traction but has dropped off a little bit.

“In the beginning it was very popular and everyone wanted to try it out. But, it is loosing some traction because it is a commitment. You have to have somewhere to put the phone to get a good angle.”

The department says they won’t be using it in every situation, but they’re hoping to help create a more transparent relationship with the people living in the community.

“That’s a safe way for the public to watch and be engaged in what we’re doing,” said Debusk.

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