TPD to equip all sworn officers with body cameras

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 16:20:50-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - All sworn Tallahassee police officers are in line to receive body cameras, thanks to an agreement by the city commission Tuesday to move forward on entering a contract with a vendor.

Commissioners unanimously voted to approve additional funding for TPD to not only purchase 410 cameras, but to include technical features and other upgrades that help with accuracy and transparency.

TPD asked for 40 fewer cameras than its initial request, but the cost for new features went over the original budget.

The department was awarded a grant from the Department of Justice to help pay for body cameras.

Police tested six Axon Flex 2 cameras in four units during all shifts. Officers wore the cameras each time they were in uniform and came across a citizen.

TPD's approved budget allows for technology that activates the cameras when officers turn on their tasers or draw their weapons.

The Flex 2 system also includes ways to store and redact video.

"The videos are phenomenal. They are very clear. They show what is going on. The Axon Flex 2 is either going to be worn on the collar or on the shoulder. We had a use of force complaint against one of the officers wearing it," Lieutenant Tracy Clark told commissioners. "A quick review by IA (Internal Affairs) totally realized it was a falsified complaint, and it went away."

With Wednesday's approval, TPD can now move forward with Axon as a vendor.

It's a five-year contract capped around $2 million. That would include the equipment, storage, licenses and software needed to run the system.