BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) -- All Benton police officers will now be armed with body cameras and new, updated dash cameras.
The Benton City Council voted to allow 68 new body cameras and 49 new dash cameras Monday night.
The mayor signed the five-year contract, allowing the purchase immediately following the council meeting.
“We’re going to have the full package, which is a front camera on the car, a rear camera on the car, the router, the software program, and the body cam for the officer,” said Assistant Chief Scotty Hodges.
This will be the first of its kind in the state.
The Little Rock police department already has a router to move data to and from their vehicles, but not a camera. BPD will be the first department to have the router, camera, and audio.
“It’ll capture hopefully what the officer sees and hears, which we don’t have that right now,” said Hodges.
The ordinance allows $427,734 to be spent on this new technology.
Chief Kirk Lane told the council that price buys everything, including replacement cameras every two years.
“If we were going to spend this kind of money, get a good system that answers all our questions, not only for our transparency, but for the safety of the officers,” said Chief Lane.
The funding also buys 49 new dash cameras for patrol cars.
“We were at a point with our in-car camera where we were in bad need of repair and updating of our system,” said Lane.
Hodges said it’s a tight system, which prevents officers from tampering with what has been captured.
“They can only view the video, and it documents and logs who enters into the software system to even view it,” said Hodges.
These cameras are not on 24-7, but will have trigger signals so they capture what they’re supposed.
“For instance, if the camera in the car is on, as soon as he exits his vehicle, his body camera automatically comes on,” said Hodges.
BPD expects to have these new camera fully operating by January 1.
Training and installation will start as early as next month and as late as December.