DOJ Approves $1M For SAPD Body Cameras
The U.S. Department of Justice is awarding the San Antonio Police Department $1 million to purchase body cameras. The funding will expand a program already planned for San Antonio police.
The $1 million from the Justice department will allow the City of San Antonio to purchase several hundred new body cameras for its police force. That’s on top of $3 million the city council approved for 1500 cameras in next year’s budget. Jeff Coyle, the city’s director of government and public affairs, says the goal in the next two years is to place 2200 body cams on the force.
“This has been a priority in our federal legislative program for a few years now. San Antonio is one of the big winners here, there’s no city that received more than the $1 million that we did,” Coyle said.
Congressman Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, filed the amendment to a U.S. House Bill that resulted in the funding. He requested $10 million to better equip police around the country with cameras.
Castro says he’s been a supporter of dashcams and body cams for several years and believes they could have provided important details following the recent highly-publicized shooting by two Bexar county deputies that left 41-year-old Gilbert Flores dead in August. “I do think that if the deputies had been wearing body cameras we would have a lot more information than we do now, fortunately there were two videos that were taking by by-standers,” the congressman said.
Cities like Los Angeles, Detroit, and Miami, also received $1 million from the same grant. In Texas, New Braunfels, Corpus Christi and Webb County received smaller grants.