City Council approves 120 body cams for Cape PD

Posted at 9:03 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 23:07:02-04

The Cape Coral City Council unanimously approved a plan to spend more than $700,000 on 120 additional Taser Axon body cameras for the Cape Coral Police Department.

They will be paid for using taxpayer dollars.

"I think it protects the city, i think it protects the officer, and I think it protects the public," Tim Trimble of Cape Coral said.

Officers in the Cape rolled out 60 of the body cameras last year and are getting ready for 120 more.

"This will allow us to field our entire patrol bureau and some specialty units with body-worn cameras," Sgt. Dana Coston of Cape Coral Police said.

Sgt. Coston said the additional cameras help in making arrests and eventually convictions, and also help protect the department against frivolous complaints.

"Once they cound out the officer had body-worn camera footage of the encounter, the person retracted their complaint immediately," Sgt. Coston recalled.

Each camera costs around $500, but the majority of the money will go toward storage of the video captured by the body cameras, which in some cases needs to be stored indefinitely.

Trimble is in favor of the cameras and isn't worried about the cost, he's concerned with the five year contract Cape Coral Police has with Taser Axon, the company that creates the cameras.

"This technology is good for about 18 months and it comesw down drastically. There will be somebody who comes out with a better product, more features, and less expensive," Trimble said.

While the cameras are costing more than $700,000, Sgt. Coston said for each camera they purchase, they're also getting a free taser, which makes this a money saver.

The first set of 60 cameras will be rolled out this year, and the next 60 will be put into use in 2017.