Chief: Officers could have body cameras by next summer

Chief: Officers could have body cameras by next summer

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell says he hopes all officers will be outfitted with body cameras by the Summer of 2016.

The Chief made an appearance at the Law and Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday to update council members on his department's progress in implementing the body cams.

The city will find out in six to eight weeks if they received a $600,000 federal grant to pay for the cameras. Many argue the technology is worth whatever additional funds the city would have to cover.

Body cam footage played a crucial role in the murder indictment of University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing last month. Despite the high-profile case, city officials said Monday's body camera conversation is not in reaction to the fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose.

Councilman Wendell Young say outfitting every officer with a camera presents big challenges because of the huge amount data storage necessary and the overall costs. Councilmember Yvette Simpson called the cameras a "high priority" in the department.

The Cincinnati Police Department is not the only department talking about body cameras, Hamilton County is also applying for a grant to buy 170 body cameras for sheriff's deputies.

The mutual aid agreement between CPD and the University of Cincinnati Police Department was also on the committee agenda. Councilmembers are working to consider whether that partnership, which allows the agencies to cross over jurisdictions and offer help, should be continued.

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