The Baltimore County Police have announced their plan to equip 1,400 officers with body cameras, according to ABC News. The program is expected to cost more than $7 million during its first five years of implementation.
According to Chief Jim Johnson, the first 150 cameras with be distributed to Baltimore County police officers in July 2016. In addition to the introduction of cameras into their force, the department will also hire 21 new employees to help maintain the camera system and organize the video files.
The Baltimore County Police Department is just one of the many departments around the nation that are looking to implement police body camera programs. To aid these departments, the Justice Department announced their plan to disperse over $20 million in federal grants to 73 agencies across the country. According to the Huffington Post, these grants will help these agencies to purchase around 21,000 body cameras for their officers.
However, not everyone is looking forward to the new system. This includes David Rose, vice president of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4, who is unsure of the need for the cameras.
“The statistics just do not justify the expense,” says Rose. “I see no other reason to jump into this except for politics.”
According to Gov Tech, the department currently has 38 unfunded positions.
However, recent incidents of police shootings have caused a stir among American citizens, who are now demanding more measures be taken to control police power. As a response, more departments will continue to implement policies involving police video cameras.
This isn’t the first time that police departments have been given federal money to expand the visibility of their practices. By the beginning of 2004, 47 states and the District of Columbia had received a total of more than $21 million in federal assistance for the purchase of police car video cameras.