GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – There has been intense public and media scrutiny on law enforcement, especially with high-profile officer-involved shooting and incidents. The Green Bay Police Department is looking into purchasing body-worn cameras for their patrol officers.
The idea of body worn cameras has been around for over five years, and could become a reality in the near future.
“There have been some changes to the Wisconsin State statutes that clarified what departments need to do, so we feel that this is the right time for us to take time and really look at the right body camera system for the department,” says Chief Andrew Smith of the Green Bay Police Department.
Smith, who has been with the agency for five years, says that he has had experience with body cameras when he was with the Los Angeles Police Department.
“When I was with LAPD, we had the cameras in use and I think it worked well,” says Smith.
Here in Green Bay, there are patrol officers who would be outfitted with the addition to their uniform. Chief Smith says that the cameras would potentially extend further than regular patrol.
“Sometimes for local events, like the Packer’s games, we send out detectives who don’t normally work patrol. They would need to be fitted with cameras as well,” says Smith. The department is looking to purchase over 150 cameras for staff.
In January, Chief Smith says that the city and department will look into possible vendors for proposals for purchase. This process is not an easy one, however, because they must look at the cost and durability of the device. There is no official date when the purchase would happen, or when they would be installed.
“We are still in the planning phase, but we hope to get the right funding and equipment in use soon.”
Late Wednesday night, we reached out to Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich for comment and did not hear back prior to our deadline.
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