Cost, maintenance hinders IMPD from body camera usage

INDIANAPOLIS – The shooting death of Aaron Bailey last week by IMPD officers was not captured on police body camera devices because the department does not own any.

Call 6 Investigates talked exclusively with IMPD Chief Bryan Roach about why the department doesn’t have body cameras. Roach said the answer isn’t simple.

“We like body cams, we’d like to be in a place to buy some body cams,” said Roach. “What would be nice is to have 1,000 cameras, so that all of our uniform officers had cameras. We aren’t ready to spend those dollars.”

Roach said the city’s technology infrastructure isn’t capable of handling body cameras. He also said he wants to have policies in place on when officers are required to hit record – ensuring incidents don’t go unrecorded.

“It’s not a good message to say after an incident that, ‘I forgot to turn it on.’ I would like to take that onus away from the officer,” said Roach.

The department is considering technology that can record automatically, but the cost falls outside of the force’s budget.

Roach said the cameras can be expensive but it’s the yearly cost of storing video and paying for warranties that come with a heavy price tag.

 

“I think it is the future of policing,” said Roach. “If just for the fact that the community sees that as building trust and legitimacy.”

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