Nashville FOP supports police body cameras but worries about cost

Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 23:51:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The Metro Nashville Police Department is ready to roll out police worn body cameras but not without some hurdles, and one being the cost.

The program is already going to cost the city and taxpayers millions of dollars. The city already set aside $15 million for the program back in 2017. But according to a recent study with the D-A's office the city is going to need more.

City leaders discuss implementing police body cameras

This is the concern the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood discussed Tuesday evening on OpenLine.

"The FOP supports the body camera program but it’s going to cost a lot of money and if people aren’t willing to take that out of their pockets to fund it and do it the right way, then I can’t help you," said Smallwood.

Smallwood says it not just the cameras that are going to cost lots of money. He also pointed to extra staff and data storage.

Police Chief Steve Anderson asked for 36 new employees to cover administrative cost and to implement the program including tech support. District Attorney Glenn Funk said his office would need 248 people. This bringing in another price tag of $28 million; another reason why we aren't seeing body cameras on cops just yet.

"The FOP has no control over the timeline of implementation, the police department is doing the best they can with the funding they’ve been given. The city has to give them more money if they want it done faster. We can’t just make these things fall from the sky like manna from Heaven," said Smallwood.

Smallwood also pointed out that the police budget was slashed by $ 2million dollars. He says right now, the department can't afford the cameras and he's asking on city council and the mayor to figure out the cost.