FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Mayor Tom Henry and Police Chief Steve Reed announced Friday the City Administration will request the purchase of additional body cameras for Fort Wayne Police Department officers.
For the 2021 budget, 100 body cameras were approved. Those will cost $316,560.
Fort Wayne Police Department
City of Fort Wayne
Now, Henry and the FWPD say they are seeking to purchase more than double that amount, an additional 220 body cameras, for a total of 320.
The 220 additional cameras will cost $599,415.
Of the $999,073 total for 320 body cameras, the city says $83,098 will be paid for with a grant received by the FWPD.
The City says it is in a position to receive "a significant discount on the purchase price and utilize grant funds."
Officials say not all of the body cameras will be placed into service immediately but as a phased approach over time.
Henry said the purchase of additional body cameras is a subject that’s been part of the discussions led by the Mayor’s Commission on Police Reform and Racial Justice.
“This is an important next step in our efforts to provide the best public safety services possible,” said Mayor Henry. “Open communication, accessibility, community relations, and trust are critical as our officers serve and protect residents and businesses each day.”
Several body cameras have been used by the FWPD in the past and are still in use.
“The men and women of the FWPD are committed to meeting the safety needs of the public,” said Police Chief Reed. “We’re looking forward to working with City Council to bring more body cameras to our department as a way to utilize technology and proactively provide enhanced services.”
The request will be introduced at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with possible discussion and preliminary approval the following week on March 2 and possible final approval on March 9.