Phoenix Police Preparing For 2,000 Body Cameras

Published: Monday, January 14, 2019 - 5:05am

The Phoenix Police Department is ready to spend nearly $6 million to equip all patrol officers with body-worn cameras that automatically activate.

Chief Jeri Williams recently told the city’s public safety subcommittee she wants to move forward on a five-year contract worth $5.7 million with Scottsdale-based Axon Enterprises.

She said the department added 42 mandatory requirements to the procurement process and her top three mandates were high definition video, low light visibility, and cameras that automatically turn on when officers open their doors or hit their emergency light bars.

“We will increase trust with our community, we will increase officer safety and we will eliminate human error of having to turn off and on body worn cameras as dictated,” Williams said.

Cameras can be turned off during personal breaks and when officers are having conversations with children, victims of sexual assaults or witnesses who want to remain anonymous.

In 2016, the city set aside $5 million for the program and the money has rolled over since then. In addition 2,000 cameras, the contract includes software maintenance and storage. Up to 20 new civilian positions could be needed to manage and process video for police and prosecutors.

The subcommittee voted 3 to 1 to recommend city council approval. No date has yet been set for the council to vote on the contract.

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