Coming Soon To A Cop Near You In The Alamo City … Body Cams.
Some in the San Antonio Police Department will soon be wearing body cameras, following a go ahead from the City Council Thursday morning. The initial funding for the cameras will be part of the city’s mid-year budget adjustment.
Thursday’s budget amendments, among other items, also saw the City Council pass $350,000 for animal care spay and neuter services, $120,000 for B-Cycle support, and $100,000 in security for the greenway parks.
The City Council approved spending $320,000 to buy 251 cameras; train officers to use them and support the program. The cameras will be for park police, and for officers who patrol on footor by bike. Those three divisions don’t use patrol cars, which are already equipped with cameras. SAPD Chief Anthony Trevino said his department had been planning this for some time.
“The money that was allocated isn’t going to completely fund the body camera project but it’s going to be a start for us,” Trevino said.
It’s not clear when officers will begin using the cameras. The department first tested a pilot program in late 2014. The SAPD still needs to choose which camera models to buy and there are a lot of factors to consider.
“It’s not only the camera itself, it’s also the hardware that accompanies the camera and then the storage capacity for the cameras, and how long the battery life exists,” said Trevino. “We want to make sure we’re getting a good product that’s going to take everything into consideration.”
The cameras were originally slated for approval next fiscal year but an increase in this year’s revenues allowed the city to move up the purchase.
A full list of budget approved budget amendments.