CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - You might recall that the Corpus Christi Police Department was recently awarded a federal grant to purchase body cams. That grant was made possible through cooperation with various segments of our community.
Continuing our 3News series about the community's relationship with the Corpus Christi Police Department, Kiii News Reporter Brian Burns looked into how the grant came to be.
According to police, without letters like ones that came from local NAACP President Terry Mills and many others, Corpus Christi would not have been awarded a $125,000 grant to purchase 130 cameras.
"It wasn't a giveaway," Corpus Christi Police Chief Mike Markle said. "They had a limited amount of funds and they had cities from all over the nation competing for it."
Markle said the federal grant would not be awarded to a city that was suffering from questionable incidents involving officers.
"We had to compete through the Department of Justice, and we had to do it with our communities," Markle said. "So the NAACP worked on our behalf, as did LULAC. They wrote letters and we had to demonstrate that relationship that we have to the DOJ to secure that grant."
"I wrote a letter of support to the grant department, and I put my heart, body and soul into the letter," NAACP President Terry Mills said.
Markle said the Department has enough body cameras for a majority of its patrol division. He said the goal is body cameras for the entire department.
"It's reduced the number of complaints we've had, and not just because of officer behavior but because there are fewer erroneous complaints from citizens because they know that the officer is wearing a body camera," Markle said.
(© 2016 KIII)