Nashville Body Camera Program Could Cost Millions More Than Expected

Posted: 9:27 PM, Sep 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-14 03:29:28Z

According to District Attorney Glenn Funk and the Metro Nashville Police Department, dozens of people will need to be hired to implement the city's body camera program.

The DA's office has requested an additional 49 employees to handle body camera footage for court proceedings from the Mayor's office.

"We have no way of questioning that statement, but it seems a bit excessive," said Theeda Murphy.

Murphy is a community activist and feels the installation of body cameras has been a long drawn out and expensive process. However, Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson has said over and over again that is not the case. 

She is one of many activists in Nashville who have demanded the use of body cameras by Metro officers - among other things.

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Murphy said, "They are dragging their feet because they aren't changing anything. This was not an idea that originated from them, and so they pushed back on it." 

Judith Byrd, Mayor David Briley's press secretary, said in a statement:

"A field-trial of body cameras begins this month and will continue through the fall. The full program will be in place after a thorough procurement process that leads to the best outcome for the city.The procurement process will be complete next April. With privacy, costs, transparency and data storage concerns, the introduction of the body camera program is something that requires significant planning as well as community input. The mayor has asked each participating department to submit estimated costs for implementing the program. However, no cost estimates are determined because the program is under development."

As citizens wait for the findings of the Daniel Hambrick shooting case to come out, they will also have to wait longer for officers to get body cameras .

Murphy said, "Obviously when the videos came out in both the Jocques Clemmons case and in the Daniel Hambrick case, the stories of the police changed because you have video showing that those men were not attacking police."

The Mayor has set aside over $15 million for body cameras next year. But both the police department and the district attorney's office said they will need more than that, and the dollar amount is unclear.Their requests come at a time when the city has a budget shortfall.

The City hopes to have the program finalized by April of 2019.