GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) When Green Bay officers head out on patrol next year, they’ll carry another tool to keep both themselves and the community safe. Kris Schuller reports body cameras have been approved by City Council and the Packers stepped forward to make it happen.
For years Green Bay’s police chief has searched for ways to bring body cameras in his department.
“We tried many different ways through the city to try and fund it and we just could not afford to make that kind of investment,” said Chief Andrew Smith.
But now thanks to a partnership between the Packers and the city of Green Bay these important tools for policing are on their way.
“I think this is a real game changer for us in Green Bay in policing,” Smith said.
Tuesday Green Bay City Council approved a $2.7 million, 5-year contract with the Axon Company, to outfit 190 officers with body cameras. A project supported by the Packers through a $757,000 donation, because the cameras provide transparency and enhance public safety.
“A real inflection point for us as an organization was the Jacob Blake shooting,” said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. “Really wanted to start taking steps to really make a difference.”
“It’s going to increase our transparency, it’s going to increase the accountability of our officers, not only to me, but the community,” Smith said.
Chief Smith says the cameras will help build trust among residents and allow the department to critique the performance of officers.
“Our officers are going to get a chance to see themselves and how they respond in a situation and what they could have done differently. That is going to be tremendous for us,” Smith said.
Tools for policing made possible by the Packers, expected to go online in March.
“It would not have been possible for us to move forward within this time frame without that support coming from the Green Bay Packers,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich.
And Murphy says the team is looking to support similar efforts with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and Ashwaubenon Public Safety.
The Packers also worked with Axon to achieve $170,000 in discounts. Final cost to the city is approximately $1.95 million.
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