STAMFORD, Conn. -- Mayor David Martin said he supports a move for Stamford to acquire body cameras for police officers and believes it will lead to even better policing for the city.
The Board of Representatives Fiscal Committee is considering the request for the body cameras and related costs. Earlier this month, the Board of Finance voted in favor of a federal Department of Justice grant that matches the city's $338,000. The money will be used to 161 cameras and digital storage equipment.
"It’s time that we in an extremely diverse city have body cameras both for the protection of the public and the police themselves," he said.
Martin said about a third of police agencies across the country use the cameras. While he supports the initiative, Martin did acknowledge that there is a cost for storage of the digital information that could reach $100,000, city police officials have said.
"There is no such thing as a free lunch even with this grant it is substantial," he said.
Body cameras have been adopted by many police agencies after an increase in complaints involving the public's interaction with police. It has been argued that body cameras will provide a clearer interaction between police and the public.
Martin said it may also result in some people calming down once they are told by police they are being recorded, although he said the evidence for that is mainly anecdotal.