Body cameras will not cost Nashville the $30 million a year that the district attorney’s office claims.
That’s according to a team of national body camera experts that met with the mayor’s office and local criminal justice agencies this week.
John Buntin, policy director for the mayor’s office, says the city is working with different departments to draft a plan that follows best practices but will also keep costs low.
“This is a process,” he says. “We’re at the beginning of a process. We are all going to work together to get our workflows right, to come up with a practical, evidence-based approach that’s going to work for Nashville.”
Buntin says the police department will equip 26 DUI and traffic enforcement officers with body cameras in March. The pilot program will expand to a small number of officers in other units in May. The city has not yet announced a date for full deployment.
Metro Police Captain Blaine Whited will oversee the rollout of the body camera program. For the past two years, he’s led the department’s Juvenile Crime Task Force.
Lawmaker Files Bill To Speed Up Body Cameras
Meanwhile, a Nashville state representative wants to force Metro Police to speed up the rollout of body and patrol cameras. If approved, MNPD would have to fully implement the video recording devices by February 2021.
Democrat John Ray Clemmons’ bill would also require the storage of video and audio recordings for a specific time, developed by the agency with community input.
Clemmons says the use of body cameras would help restore community trust and promote transparency.