Spokane PD considers $1,000 body cameras

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by KREM.com & Ashley Korslien

KREM.com

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 21 at 7:21 PM

SPOKANE -- Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub is expected to decide soon whether to purchase body cameras for the force’s 185 officers.

The department recently wrapped up a two-month testing phase of body cameras, and now leaders is deciding whether to get them for all officers.

Two different model are under consideration: one camera-style attaches to the officer’s uniform with a clip, the other model attaches to a hat or glasses.

Major Frank Scalise said the cameras are a great tool for police, but they are not fool-proof. The cameras can be easily knocked off during a scuffle, and they can only capture one point of view.

Each camera costs around $1,000, plus upkeep costs.

Spokane Police said it would need to outfit 185 officers.

Scalise said the cameras could help lessen the chance of violence if suspects know their actions are being taped.

Scalise said right now, there is not money for the cameras in the budget.

Post Falls PD was the first local police department to strap body cameras on its patrol officers. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office followed shortly after. Airway Heights Police Officers have worn the cameras since 2010. Coeur d’Alene Police purchased body cameras earlier this year.

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