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Do body cameras save taxpayers money?

Posted 5 years 5 days ago ago by Dave LaFleur     0 Comments

Local police agencies are purchasing body cameras. Some say it's actually saving tax payers money.
Russellville Police Department's patrol officers and sergeants have used body cameras since 2013. Chief Shifflett says they've been able to use the video footage to exonerate police officers who are accused of wrong doings.

"Probably in just one [situation] alone, the cost of to defend what would have been a law suit, more than paid for the cameras,” said Chief Shifflett.

 Russellville police officers use two different styles of body cameras.

"One fits underneath the officer's collar, so the camera is at their shoulder level. When they're talking to someone, they're getting the officer's view. The newest is the contained unit. They wear those on the uniform shirt at chest level. It too gets the officers perspective. Both cameras can record everywhere the officer goes," said Chief Shifflett.

 Franklin Police Department has also jumped on board and purchased body cameras. The department expects to have them in four to six week. Officials say for years they've depended solely on the in-car camera, therefore they're eager to see the benefits of the new devices.

"In terms of expense, we're looking at $400 versus $5,000. We're going to save the city probably $17,500 by doing it in house versus paying someone else to do it," said Art McFadden, Assistant Chief of Franklin Police. The Franklin Police Chief says training will follow policy changes, in regards to the new body cameras.

"From the evidentiary value and the public's perception, we don't have anything to hide. From civil litigation, to criminal complaints, to civil complaints, it is going to be a useful resource to us because it allows us to go back and look through those tapes. To my knowledge, there are no negative aspects to the utilization of body cams,” said Roger Soloman, Franklin Police Chief. researching the cameras themselves, along with the agency's storage capability.



By: Kayla Vanover - Email - for WKBO.com 


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