The Boise City Council is set to vote on a contract worth more than $1.4 million that will equip police officers with body cameras.
If approved Tuesday, Boise would join other cities deciding to invest in the technology to ensure trust between police and the people they serve. The proposal has the endorsement of the city’s police chief, who sees the cameras as a welcome tool for accountability.
Councilwoman Elaine Clegg says she recognizes the contract with Arizona-based TASER International is not cheap. But Clegg says the trust and accountability the body cameras will foster is worth it.
“It will allow police leaders to review actions of officers and make sure that our training is hitting the mark and to identify any issues that perhaps need trained on,” says Clegg.
If approved, some police officers will begin wearing the cameras in early 2016. The contract includes cloud-based storage of the hours and hours of daily footage cops will collect. The Boise Police Department hopes to receive a Department of Justice grant to help offset the cost of the technology.
Clegg says the city has come a long way since the early 2000s when some officer-involved shootings eroded public trust. She says the footage gathered by Boise police officers will enhance community relationships.
“This is a move that will allow that to continue, but I don’t think at this point any of us felt like there was anything to fix. It was more an ongoing measure to make sure that the trust that we’ve gained and regained continues.”
She says council members took their time with the proposal because they wanted to address privacy concerns. Boise’s proposal comes late to the game compared to other law enforcement agencies in the area, including Canyon County and Meridian police.
Follow reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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