SAPD officers training with new body cameras

City council approved $16.6 million for cameras last October

SAN ANTONIO – Body cameras will hit the streets of San Antonio soon.

The San Antonio Police Department is in the process of deploying the new cameras for officers to use.

Park Police and downtown patrols will be the first officers to use the cameras, followed by the East Side substation, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

Chief McManus said the remainder of the cameras will be distributed to officers based on where complaints are made about the use of force.

The SAPD tested body worn cameras for 6 months as part of a pilot program back in 2014.

That October, McManus told the City Council the results at that time were mixed and that the SAPD was not ready to equip officers.

Two months later in December McManus recommended that 210 cameras be used by downtown bike patrol officers and park police.

The City Council then approved $320,000 in funding for the cameras in May 2015.

But later last year, back in September, the Council set aside $3 million for more than 1,000 body cameras for the SAPD.

That same month, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the city a $1 million dollar grant for the cameras. The money will help the SAPD purchase 2,200 body cameras within two years. 

Just this last October, the City Council unanimously approved a $16.6 million dollar contract with Taser International.

Supplemented by the $1 million grant, the money will be spent by the city over eight years.

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