Discussion on Baton Rouge body cameras continues
BATON ROUGE- The fight for body cameras rages on in Baton Rouge. Councilwoman Denise Marcelle is continuing her push for an ordinance that would require patrolling officers to wear the cameras, starting January 1st.
The topic has already been deferred three times at council meetings. Marcelle says it's been pushed back because of a lack of funding. The police department has already expressed their support for the cameras, and applied for a $700,000 dollar grand to fund the 700 cameras.
Although Baton Rouge police are in favor of the cameras, they say establishing an ordinance concerns them because they're not sure they'll be able to afford to sustain the cameras.
Marcelle says the body cameras will give authorities an additional set of eyes, so it doesn't come down to the police officer's word versus the victim's. She says now is the time to implement them, since police behavior is such a hot topic nationwide.
"We feel like we don't want these cameras, we need these cameras," said Marcelle.
Some Baton Rouge residents argue that the cameras are unnecessary and would cost too much. Implementing a full body camera program would cost about $2 million. The ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing at Wednesday's council meeting.
Other cities in Louisiana have begun using body cameras this year. Police officers in Covington recently began using cameras, and the police department in Walker announced plans to get 18 body cameras for its officers.