Miami-Dade Mayor Calls for Officer Body Cameras - NBC 6 South Florida

Miami-Dade Mayor Calls for Officer Body Cameras

Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he is order 500 cameras for his patrol officers to wear on their sunglasses.



    Miami-Dade Mayor Wants Officers to Wear Body Cameras

    In response to the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo., Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is calling for county officers to wear body cameras. NBC 6's Marissa Bagg reports. (Published Friday, Aug. 22, 2014)

    In light of the recent police-involved shootings in Ferguson, Mo., Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez is calling for all county police officers to wear body cameras on the job.

    The mayor says he's ordering 500 cameras that would attach to a pair of sunglasses for his patrol officers.

    "The body cam is a way to assure that there's confidence in the police department, that if they had been wearing a body cam say in the incident that happened in Missouri, there would be no debate to what exactly happened," Gimenez said.

    Earlier this month, a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking protests across the St. Louis suburb. The death remains under investigation.

    Gimenez said some Miami-Dade officers have already been testing out different types of body cameras, but not everyone is sold on the idea.

    John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said the association is concerned over officer safety while using the cameras.

    "Can the cord choke an officer? How many seconds is it going to take to activate? Because we've known for many years statistically that an officer can get killed within a one or two second period of time," Rivera said.

    Rivera questioned whether now is the time to spend dwindling budget dollars on what he calls a "trinket."

    "There's other pressing issues, like for example, they've spent millions of dollars on our radio systems, and they are malfunctioning," Rivera said. "Why don't we fix that first before we go onto another project?"

    Gimenez said he hopes to use grant money to pay the $1 million cost to buy the cameras. Otherwise, it will come out of next year's budget.

    "It has ramifications in terms of actually saving money in the end because it could lead to faster conviction times," he said.

    The mayor said he eventually wants every patrol officer in the county to have a body camera.

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