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Government

Wichita Police Department Outlines Contract For Purchasing Body Cameras

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PATRICK T. FALLON BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
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Details were presented today on a possible contract between the City of Wichita and Taser, the body camera and electrical weapon company. The contract would provide body cameras for all city police officers. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

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Credit taser.com

City officials have promised to equip all police officers with cameras by the end of this year. The police department has now outlined a 5-year contract worth $2.2 million. That contract would include over 350 Taser Axon cameras, batteries and viewing monitors. The contract would also include the technology needed to store data at each substation. Wichita Police Captain Brian White presented the Axon body camera system to city council members on Tuesday.

“It’s a small camera,” he said. "You can wear it on your (glasses), on your lapel, on your collar, a helmet, or a ball cap."

White added that the particular camera system the police department is looking to purchase was more effective than those worn on the chest, which can easily be obstructed.

Below is a presentation of the Taser Axon body camera system

After an initial purchasing cost of $712,000, White says the annual fees from upgrades, data storage and maintenance is about $360,000.

The city still hasn't nailed down funding for the cameras but has recommended grounding the police helicopter, finding grants and using narcotics seizure funds.

If the city were to go through with the purchase, White says the cameras would be implemented one substation at a time—all over a three-week period later this year. White also said the contract would include brand new cameras at the two-and-a-half and five-year marks.

A contract will need to be finalized at a later city council meeting, after a public hearing.