Metro police hope all officers will have body cameras by end the end of the year
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police now have another tool they believe will lead to a better relationship with citizens.
"LMPD body cameras will improve public safety and trust. Pilot underway in fifth division," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted from Field Elementary School on Tuesday night.
A public meeting was held on Tuesday night to get input from concerned citizens on the new body camera program that Mayor Fischer proposed in his budget recently. Fischer said at the announcement of the program last month that he believes the cameras allow greater transparency between LMPD and the public.
"We shopped a great deal," said Police Chief Steve Conrad, "Really the first thing we were after was the best camera out there on the market."
All officers will wear cameras from the collar up to get the best possible view when playing back video.
"I would hate to have some sort of incident that needs to be recorded," Conrad said, "This, I hope, gives us the opportunity to work out any kinks."
The ultimate plan is to purchase nearly 1,000 cameras so every LMPD officer will have one. The cameras will be tested in the 5th division of LMPD, which includes Crescent Hill and the Highlands. The pilot program will last for 45 days. After the 45 day pilot program, the next officers to receive the cameras will likely be those working in Louisville's west end.
"To begin with we needed to start somewhere," Conrad said, "The fifth division gives us the opportunity to try all of this and I want to make sure all of it works."
The initial distribution of body cameras is meant to help officers learn the capabilities and limitations before officers begin using them city wide.
All of the body cameras come with a price tag of $2.8 million dollars, for five years.
Officers can wear the body cameras three different ways: on a collar mount, on a head/hat mount or on a sunglasses mount. The placement on the head or neck prevents footage from being covered if an officer is an active situation.
Conrad said his hope is that all officers with have body cameras by the end of the year.
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