BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - At Wednesday's Baton Rouge Metro Council meeting, Councilwoman Denise Marcelle proposed that all Baton Rouge Police Officers wear body cameras. It's technology that many departments here in Louisiana, and those across the nation, are already utilizing.
"The money that we were going to utilize for seven in-car cameras we were able to purchase every officer a body camera," said Chief Todd Duplantis, Houma Police Department, in a recent interview. "It can save a huge amount of money. One lawsuit can cost this department what these body cameras cost us."
Currently, BRPD officers have dashboard cameras in their police units, and many have microphones on them. Those are what are used as evidence if and when officials need to go back and see exactly what happened. But according to the Thibodaux Police Department, the body cameras are much more effective when it comes to gathering evidence.
"It absolutely has increased our operational efficiency as far as taking those statements, and that way we ensure they're accurate statements. They can't be any more accurate than within your own words," said Chief Scott Silverii, Thibodaux Police Department, in a past interview.
Marcelle echoes the statements of praise from other departments and adds that her reason for pushing the topic is due to the tragic events in Ferguson, MO, where an unarmed 18-year-old was shot by police.
"Once the Ferguson incident came out, it became more obvious that I did not want that to reoccur in Baton Rouge. And in order to prevent it, what could I do from a policy making standpoint, and what could I do to assist to make sure it didn't happen?" said Marcelle.
The issue was introduced at Wednesday night's meeting.
"So far everyone is supportive," Marcelle said. "I'm going to meet with the chief next week and we're going to discuss it some more. I'm talking to the Mayor's office to find the money to fund it."