Metro police body cams put on hold due to Nashville's budget woes

Posted at 12:34 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 13:45:50-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville police say the department’s plan to purchase body cameras is on hold amid the city’s budget problems.

Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron says the recent Comptroller's Report on city finances has put a temporary hold on spending – that includes the purchase of body cameras for the department.

“Given the comptroller's report and in consultation with the Mayor's office, camera equipment has not been ordered as we assess downstream fiscal impact to other entities in the criminal justice system, including the District Attorney's office, as we move forward," says Aaron.

The Mayor Barry administration set aside $15 million to deploy body cameras. To date, about a third of that has been spent on server storage and the ability to upload video via a wireless connection.

The Comptroller's report said Metro's financial situation was so bad that Nashville ran the risk of having to shut down the government. Metro's spending has outstripped the more than $1 billion revenue the city generates -- so much so that the city has scrambled to make debt payments with one-time revenues, like the sale of parking enforcement to a private company.

NewsChannel 5 has reached out to Mayor Cooper's Office for a statement.

Read more: State Comptroller rejects Metro Nashville's current budget, says it's not balanced