PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - Some are calling body cameras an essential for all police officers after all of the recent controversial officer involved shootings from around the country.
The Pine Bluff Police Department is now looking to join other officers in the use of technology to better serve and protect their community. Initially, the department was just interested in replacing dash cameras which they felt were worn down. The company they're working with offered a better deal to give body cameras to the department. Making it essentially a "two for one" deal for both police and the Pine Bluff community.
“It’s going to go into the houses, it’s going to go into the businesses, and it’s going to go into the clubs. Wherever that officer goes. It will go,” said Pine Bluff Public Information Officer, Richard Wegner.
He said "use of force" issues usually get the biggest request for body cameras. He’s happy to see the station take that progressive step forward.
"When I first started, the dash mounted cameras were all we had," Wegner recalled. "They were great for what they did but you would never be able to fit one on your uniform.”
The department is asking the city to approve a total of $300,000 for a total of 45 body cameras. They’ll cost the city roughly $65,000 per year. They say the traffic unit will mostly use them as they have more daily encounters with the public while on duty.
The Ways and Means Committee approved the request for the cameras. On Monday, the full council will make a final decision.