21 police officers in Hudson, Wis. will start wearing lapel body cameras after the city council approved up to $100,000 in funding for law enforcement surveillance equipment.
The expense also covers video cameras for 11 squad cars and an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 for a computer server to store the videos.
Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen believes the body cameras will increase the rate of convictions, reduce the number of complaints against officers and cut the costs of investigations and overtime hours.
"The video cameras provide an unbiased presentation of the facts of the incident," Jensen wrote in a letter to the city council. "There are many instances where the witnesses have stated one thing, but the video evidence has proved them wrong." READ FULL MEMO
The city council approved funding for the cameras by a 5-1 vote. Lori Bernard, the one council member who voted against the proposal, is concerned with IT support issues, management of video evidence and the eventual equipment upgrades or replacements that will be necessary.
Burnsville is the only police department in Minnesota currently using body cameras, but the Minneapolis Police Department will launch a pilot program this year.
The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved the mayor's budget, which includes $400,000 to outfit 2/3 of the police force with body cameras. If the first phase goes well, the department will try to get body cameras for the final third of officers in 2015.