Metro Councilwoman to make latest move toward bringing body cameras to BRPD

Metro Councilwoman to make latest move toward bringing body cameras to BRPD
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Thousands of police departments across the country use body cameras on their officers. BRPD is not one of them.

Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle and Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie want to change that. There's just one major issue.

"It is a very large amount of money to invest," said Chief Dabadie.

He says it would be about $100,000 for 100 cameras.

At the Metro Council Wednesday night, Marcelle will introduce a measure to put body cameras in BRPD's budget for next year. By that time, Chief Dabadie hopes to receive federal grant funding he says he's applied for.

Dabadie says paying for the pilot program would be divided between the feds and BRPD, with the shares to still be determined, plus more money for reoccurring costs like storing data.

"We're trying to make sure that we spend the taxpayer's dollars efficiently and get the biggest bang for our buck when we do buy the cameras," Chief Carl Dabadie/Baton Rouge Police Dept.

"They can find it in a grant, under a rock, however they want to find it. I just want to make sure that it's done," said Marcelle.

Marcelle first lobbied for cameras last summer following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

While BRPD is still without them, other local agencies have made purchases.

In Assumption Parish, the sheriff's office wrote a check last year for $17,000 for their 31-cameras. Their deputies record all interaction with the public which the parish says protects the officers and the citizens.

Along with money, Chief Dabadie says protecting citizens' privacy is another issue.

"Sexual-based offenses and so forth, a lot of those victims don't want to be on-camera," said Dabadie.

Dabadie says his goal is to eventually have four or 500 cameras for all uniformed patrol officers.

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