Body cameras are voted down by Metro Council
BATON ROUGE - The Metro Council voted down body cameras this evening.
Members debated body cameras for almost an hour before the vote. The pitch was to require cops in Baton Rouge to wear body cameras. Although many of the council members agreed they wanted police to wear body cameras, many were concerned about where the money was going to come from.
Councilwoman Tara Wicker voted in favor of the cameras.
"I want my baby to be able to go to school, get educated, get a good job, and make it home alive. And if the police officers have to have a doggone body camera on themselves to make it happen, I don't care how much it costs to be honest with you." Then Councilwoman Wicker added, "If we can build buildings, if we can build roads, we can build bridges...we can save some lives...and whatever it takes to make it happen...that's my vote...and I'm gonna stand by that til Jesus come."
Baton Rouge Police are already looking at starting a pilot program with 100 officers wearing the cameras and studying what happens while they are wearing them and see how much the cameras would cost. Councilman John Delgado said he is in favor of the body cameras but wants to see results from a trial run first.
"We are talking about millions of dollars. We are talking about security issues, privacy issues, and lots of technical issues with regard to these body cameras, which all of the members of this council believe that we need to use. We want to make sure that it's done correctly and that is why this pilot program is so important."
Ultimately the body camera ordinance was voted down by the Metro Council. Many want to wait and see how the pilot program does, before mandating anything.