Beyond the Protests: SPD body cameras

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport’s police chief is making efforts to secure body cameras for patrol officers.
This week.. he spoke to city council members about his findings.

Discussions surrounding outfitting Shreveport police officers with body cameras, once again the subject of questioning by Shreveport City Council to Chief Ben Raymond.

“We have found one that is quite a bit less expensive than the numbers I’ve been throwing around for the last year or so.”

Earlier this month Raymond told us the cost would be upwards of $3 million for body cams. This week Raymond explains to council other funding sources may have been secured.

“We’ve also got two private vendors that are pretty much going to cover the costs it looks like at least for the first year, a couple $100,000 at least that will be paid by private entities at this point.

Tuesday Councilman Grayson Boucher asked for a timeline.

“I’ve got my Chief Administrative Assistant, he’s actually about to write a bid. We have to go out for an intent for bid, where essentially we have to indicate this is what we’d like to see in a body camera and then every company that meets those requirements can submit a bid and essentially we take the low bidder.”

He’s hoping to present numbers to the council next month and more information about the company.

“The body cameras themselves are not the expense. The expense is we want to have video for 500 officers that work a 8 hour shift everyday and we want to keep that video for 60, 90, 120 days to know if it’s important or not that’s a lot of money, that’s a lot of storage.”

During this week’s meeting the lack of body cameras during the Tommie McGlothen case is also brought up by Councilwoman Levette Fuller.

Chief Raymond says about five years ago the department had 90 operational cameras and now they’re down to 70 that are fully functional.

“It’s my position that the body camera is going to help us more opportunities than it would have to hurt us.”

Raymond also shared with us that body cameras should first go to the officers who engage in the most interactions with the public including warrant and community liasion officers.

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