Metro Police chief unveils $50 million plan for body cams, dashcams

(MGN Online)

Metro Nashville’s Police Chief Steve Anderson has unveiled a $50.1 million plan to fund body cameras and dashcams for the city’s police force.

Anderson made the request at a budget hearing on Thursday. The money would fund body cameras for 1,400 city officers and is part of the department’s overall budget request for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Capital costs to purchase hardware, software and infrastructure amount up to $41.2 million and another $8.9 million for 24 sergeants in charge of the cameras, seven IT technicians and two additional positions, along with a 5 percent premium pay allowance.

Some of the $41.2 million would go to replace existing laptops and patrol cars computer systems, which are six years old, and to replace auto vehicle locators, which is 11 years old. Part of the money would go to outfit 880 police cars with dashcam systems.

Anderson also asked for $26 million in an operating budget which was highlighted to grow the department by 128 new officers. In an effort to decrease the response time, 48 officers would be added to precincts. Another 22 officers would begin a walking pilot program. Anderson also hopes to open a new nights precinct by 2021, adding 22 officers each fiscal year for the next few years. Metro Police Spokesman Don Aaron said 66 officers are needed to open a new precinct.

Metro Council recently passed a resolution to buy 168 body cameras for Metro Police officers. This came after the deadly shooting of Jocques Clemmons by Metro Officer Josh Lippert last month, which some people in Nashville said they feel a greater sense of urgency for body cameras.

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