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Cornelius News

Police protection: What does it cost?

By Dave Vieser. Chief Kevin Black is asking the Town Board for an additional $17,000 in the 2020-21 budget to provide front-line officers with body cameras.

The will be reviewed in greater detail during the town’s budget discussions which get under way with the help of Zoom, a video conferencing tool, next week.

“Body-worn cameras protect our officers who place their lives on the frontline of defense each day,” said Black. He needs 12 to avoid the need for device sharing.

Body cams help protect officers and citizens against false accusations, claims of misconduct and abuse.

They also increase transparency and accountability of officers and may help de-escalate confrontational situations between officers and civilians.

The first generation of modern police body cameras was introduced around 2005 in the United Kingdom, while in 2014, large scale implementation began in the United States.

The $17,000 requested by the police would also cover the cost of cloud storage for a year.

The department is also seeking an additional $17,000 to hire a part-time officer for their animal control section, and $540,000 to continue its vehicle replacement program which calls for replacement of cars with more 100,000 miles. The department currently has a total of 54 vehicles in their fleet. Almost a quarter of the fleet has more than 80,000 miles on the odometer.

Pursuant to state law, the new, roughly $24 million budget must be adopted by June 30.