$3M needed to launch Arlington PD body camera program

A new study by the Arlington Police Department found it would cost them nearly $3 million to outfit each officer with a body camera. It could also cost about $2 million per year to maintain the program.

A small number of Arlington officers have been using body cams for the last six months on a trial basis as part of the department’s pilot program study. The study also found another big expense fort the department would be video storage.

The police department held a meeting with the Arlington City Council on Tuesday to discuss the study’s findings.

“Without a doubt, I believe the body cameras will improve accountability both for employees and for the community,” said Police Chief Will Johnson. “At the end of the day, if the citizens of Arlington want us to wear body cameras, we will wear body cameras.”

Chief Johnson fired a rookie police officer for shooting an unarmed teen in a car dealership last August. 

The dealership's cameras did not capture the shooting. At that time, the body camera pilot program was in the works but had not yet begun.

The city council will vote in August whether to embrace the body camera technology as well as the expense.

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