Metro Council approves $2 million for police body cameras
BATON ROUGE - Metrocouncil members approved more than $2 million to be used for police body cameras, even though the police union president wanted to use the money for something else.
The union president said they were on board with officers wearing body camera. However, he said there are other projects that need funding as well.
"$2.25 million could greatly benefit our department in other areas," President Brian Taylor said.
Taylor said the money could be used for new squad cars or buildings, improvements at police headquarters, or bulletproof vests.
"At the end of the day, a camera won't stop a bullet," he said.
Taylor's message was not unheard by council members, but was overpowered by people in favor of funding the task of putting body cameras on every Baton Rouge police officer.
"The community is in limbo," Gary Chambers said, "and concerned about an imminent DOJ decision. At some point, we have to give the community something to say 'we're doing something to address the concerns of the community.'"
Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie has supported the body camera initiative, which has been in the works for three years.
"I said in the beginning, the first time that I stood in front of the council and talked about body cameras, I explained that this was going to be a very expensive project," Dabadie said.