BATON ROUGE, La (KLFY) – It’s going to cost state police about $5.3 million over five years to outfit its officers with body cams. LSP Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmondson says it’s a done deal. In fact, last month the superintendent spoke about rolling out the new equipment this month.
It’s a project the superintendent says has been in the works for months. Body cameras will soon be handed out to more than 700 patrol troopers, with the remainder reserved for use in special assignments or as replacement equipment. Colonel Edmondson explained the importance of being transparent. “We have no problem with what you see and what we see. It’s not a problem for us to sit there and articulate why we take the actions we take,” says Edmondson.
Edmondson said troopers will continue to use their in-car cameras in conjunction with the “Axon Body 2” cameras. “It’s about transparency. It’s about officer safety and educating the public who expects us to be perfect. We’re striving to be.”
In Opelousas, Police Chief Donald Thompson has already equipped his officers with body cameras. Chief Thompson says the cameras protect the integrity of officers and the offenders they come across. “We download the video and they’ll be able to see and determine what happened on this call of duty,” adds Thompson.
Chief Thompson says the cameras are worth every penny. They may be small in size but they play a huge role in effectiveness. “I don’t put a price on anyone’s life that includes police, a citizen of Opelousas, anybody,” says Chief Thompson.
KLFY News has learned that deployment first will be to Troop N (French Quarter).