Metro Moves Forward with Body Cameras for Officers - 8 News NOW

Metro Moves Forward with Body Cameras for Officers

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LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are moving forward with plans to equip some officers with body cameras.

However, only new police officers will be required to wear the cameras. 

Starting next year, Metro Police uniforms will include body cameras beside the badge, but only for a small part of the force.

"The funding for the body cameras was actually taken from seizure money," Capt. Tom Roberts with Metro's Office of Internal Oversight said.

Roberts says 200 body cameras should be in use by the end of January or beginning of February. Another 200 body cameras are expected to be paid for by a grant.

The Bolden and Northeast area commands get the cameras first.

"Our community partners had expressed a desire for us to start there in the deployment of the cameras," Roberts said.

A letter obtained by 8 News NOW from the head of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, to its members, indicates the union has convinced the sheriff and his executive staff to limit the body cameras to officers hired after July 2013.

The letter says officers may wear a body camera if they choose to do so.

"We feel that we're going to get a pretty good volunteer rate on folks wanting to wear the body cameras." Roberts said.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak believes the cameras can help the police.

"I'm a firm believer in officers having body cams," Sisolak said, "I think it is more for the officer's protection than anything else."

Because, as the expression goes, the camera doesn't lie.

No one from the police union was available for an interview Monday.

This all comes in the middle of the debate over raising Clark County's sales tax as much as 15 percent to fund local law enforcement.

Metro Police say, if the more cops tax increase passes, money could be set aside for more body cameras.

The Clark County Commission is set to talk about the tax increase Oct. 1.

For now, seizure money is covering the cost of this first batch of cameras.

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