City leader exploring the use of police officer body cameras
BATON ROUGE - Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle is exploring the possibility of adding more eyes to what's going on during emergencies through the use of police body cameras.
Marcelle said body cameras would add more transparency to the police department and would be an additional tool for investigations.
"Everything recorded, you don't have to depend upon someone's memory for what happened," said Marcelle.
Police departments around the country use body cameras. Marcelle's interest was sparked by the situation in Ferguson, MO., where riots took over the town after an officer-involved shooting where an 18-year-old was killed.
"It won't prevent it, but it definitely gives us a different set of eyes," she said.
The Baton Rouge Police department currently has about 370 cameras in police units. The cameras are mounted in the cars and remain there. Each officer is also equipped with a wireless microphone. While these cameras put eyes and ears on the situation, they don't see everything. But, cameras mounted to an officer's chest or ear would capture more.
"The benefit of these cameras would be accountability," said Cpl. Don Coppola. "Not only the officer's accountability, but it would also help the community."
Marcelle said she is looking for grant money to cover the $200,000 cost.
There will be a public hearing on this topic at the council's September 24th meeting.
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