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BPD accepts $50K donation to help equip officers with body cameras

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BILLINGS, Mont. – The Billings City Council voted unanimously to allow the Billings Police Department to accept a $50,000 donation facilitating the implementation of body cameras.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says installing body cameras for all officers is something the department has been looking at for many years but funding has always been problematic, and the seed money will only make up a portion of the overall cost.

St. John says it will take $3,000 to $5,000 for each unit and the department’s goal is to outfit 95 to 100 officers. But the biggest cost is server storage, which can amount to $800,000 every five years, depending on how much storage they need.

“In today’s day and age with the national discussion on accountability, there’s nothing wrong with body cameras. We have some; we have them in all of our cars. We don’t oppose that at all,” St. John says.

Chief St. John says they already have a prototype on the road right now to test it out and see how it goes.

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