Police Want $1.6 Million for Body Cameras, Other Equipment From City's FY 2019 Budget Surplus
SAN ANGELO,TX – The San Angelo Police Department's in car video system is outdated and Chief Frank Carter presented a plan to the San Angelo City Council Wednesday morning to replace the 110 cameras and add body cameras for all police officers.
SAPD Sgt. Travis Griffith detailed the plan which has been in underway for four years. Griffith told council members the SAPD has been purchasing parts on Ebay to keep the current in car camera system working.
Griffith says the department has decided to replace the in car camera system and add body cams and tasers. The SAPD has an estimate of about $1.6 million for the project.
According to information presented to the city council, the plan calls for body worn cameras to be issued to officers who have direct contact with the public and would bring about a higher level of transparency with the public which increases community confidence in police and public interactions.
The body worn cameras will also aid in the streamlined proper classification of video evidence and expedite the fuilfillment of video requests by the courts and the public.
Body camera evidence is also useful with reluctant witnesses such as domestic violence cases.
Griffith says departments with body cameras tend to have lower rates of use of force incidents and a reduction of internal and external complaints against officers.
Body worn cameras allow for better supervision of officers for training and discipline purposes.
"We do this job because we care." Said Griffith. "Other cities have seen a reduction in officer complaints and an increase in conviction rates with body cameras."
Wednesday morning's presentation was for information only. The city council is expected to vote to go out for bids for body cameras and in car video systems at their next meeting on Sept. 17.
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