Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton will to ask the City Council to fund new technology for police cars that could help prevent accidents like the one Sunday that left two people dead, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Officer Alex Beard was responding to a call requesting backup for another officer who was dealing with a “mental consumer” when his car struck another car and killed a woman and girl visiting from Mississippi for a birthday party.
Witnesses said the officer was speeding and did not have his lights or sirens on, an issue that Wharton called the “crux of the investigation.” Wharton described the new technology as a GPS-based device that will allow police officials to pinpoint the location of a squad car and to determine its route, speed, and what equipment was in use. The technology could also include cameras in the car that activate at a certain speed. “Whatever the cost is, I don’t think it’s too much, particularly if it’s going to (help) officer safety,” Wharton said. Police department policy requires officers responding to emergencies to have their lights and sirens on. Exceptions are made when stealth is required.