Lexington City Leaders Move Forward with Police Body Cameras

Jun 24, 2015

Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard
Credit kentucky.com

Lexington leaders are moving forward with the purchase of body cameras for police. Council members had previously decided to wait until the fall to take up the $600,000 project due to questions about future costs pertaining to video storage. City Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton told council Tuesday that those questions have been answered. "When that answer was given to some of the storage, things automatically changed because that was the big issue that was the real stumbling block here," Hamilton said. "Not the cameras, but how you store all this stuff and access it all." 

Lexington NAACP President William Saunders address council this week.  He says a price tag can't be put on the lives of humans.  "So $600,000 is not even the issue today," Saunders said.  "The issue is we want to restore the trust back into our communities and I think this is one of the first steps. And it's also gonna hold us accountable, not only the citizens accountable, but the police department accountable."

Council member Jennifer Mossotti believes body cameras could provide citizens a glimpse into the policing profession.  "When these brave police officers put this camera on every day, the public will have just a little bit of a taste of what it's like to go out there and deal with these folks who are mentally unstable, who are emotionally unstable, who don't think about life the way you and I do," said Mossotti.

Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard says costs for the body camera technology have dropped.  He supports the program and suggests there will be a national mandate eventually for police body cameras all across the country. ​