The trend of police wearing body cameras has finally made its way to Detroit. The news comes by way of a news conference with Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig on Tuesday, WXYZ reports.
The move comes at a time when tension in the national conversation regarding police violence continues to rise, and it seems that each day another video surfaces highlighting police brutality.
The Detroit system will actually be one of the more sophisticated systems in the country. Officers will wear bodies camera that are integrated with the vehicle dash cameras, which will provide multiple perspectives of incidents as they unfold, and help to keep both citizens and officers safe.
In a statement, Police Chief James Craig said he expects the Detroit Police Department to be a national leader in camera deployment.
“We are moving ahead to build a single, integrated system, where the police cars and officers will be fully equipped with the latest camera technology,” said Craig.
The launch of this system won’t start until 2016 and will be rolled out at a rate of 100 officers per month, and within three years all 2500 patrol and special operations officers will be equipped with the technology. Within one year, all vehicles will be equipped with cameras as well.
The Detroit News reports that the dash cameras will cost $350,000 and the body cameras and storage equipment will cost $3 million. The dash cameras are already in the budget for the department, and the body cameras will be paid for by federal grants and the department.
DPD intends to forward to both City Council and the Detroit Police Commission next month a recommendation for a vendor on the camera system.
The move is a welcome change to the current state of affairs, as currently less than half of all Detroit police vehicles are either equipped with broken cameras, or no cameras at all.
“Our goal is to build a police department where all interactions between officers and citizens are recorded,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Full transparency is the best way to build trust.”