LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36) Since 2017, a majority of officers with the Lexington Police Department have had body cameras…but not everyone.
“That’s a critical component to know we have those and we have had those working since 2017” said Bureau Patrol, Assistant Chief, Brian Maynard.
Representatives with the department gave the Urban County Council an update on the body cameras, announcing an order has been placed for more
“Last year we applied for a federal grant. That grant would provide approximately half of the funding required for a full order of body worn cameras for our sworn in police, up to and including Chief of Police. That grant was awarded to us, but there were delays in releasing the funds to us to make the purchase” said Assistant Chief with the Bureau of Administration, Eric Lowe.
Assistant Chief Lowe says it will take six weeks for the cameras to arrive…and once they do…a two week training process will happen for just under 200 employees including administration.
The training will be split into 10 classes of 20 people for COVID safety reasons.
“We found through our experience that the best time to train someone on a piece of equipment is when you put that piece of equipment in their hands” said Assistant Chief Lowe.
Off duty officers would also be required to wear body cameras when performing officer related duties on approved off duty jobs.
Assistant Chief Maynard said that monitoring and accountability will be a focus as well. He says in the last 3 years there have been over 300,000 body camera videos with a .11% failure rate. He adds that some of those failures were due to malfunctioning or battery failure.
The department’s current policy for any body worn camera violations are a 1st offense is a write up, 2nd is a 1 day suspension and 3rd offense is a 3 day suspension.
The department is also working on new technology to decrease the chance of an officer turning off the camera or not activating it.
“One of the things we’re working on with that is one of the next steps that help is a automatic activation when the firearm is drawn its called axe on side on that triggers that body worn camera its a pretty good component were actually testing those out right now” said Assistant Chief Maynard.
The technology would also be applied if a taser is used.
Police say the total cost for the cameras is estimated to be around 144,000 dollars with some of that for the automatic activation technology.
For more information on Lexington PD’s body cameras click here.