The Katy Police Department is planning to purchase body-worn cameras for officers on the force next year, police Chief Bill Hastings announced in April.
“I think it’s a good idea. We have cameras in all our vehicles,” Hastings said. “The body cameras just give us the ability to see outside the view of the camera in the [police] car.”
Hastings said the department will purchase 48 cameras at a cost of about $88,000. Funds for the cameras would be equally derived from seized criminal monetary assets and the city’s budget, Hastings said.
The department will put the cost of the cameras in its next fiscal year budget—which runs from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017. The Katy City Council will vote on the overall budget, including police department funding, in September, Hastings said.
Hastings would not reveal what brand of camera the department expects to purchase However, he said the cameras will have audio recording capabilities in addition to video, be mounted on officers’ chests and record and save data to the same computer server system that patrol car cameras use.
The department began using the patrol car cameras about 15 years ago, and Hastings said officers like the technology.
“They’re very receptive to the cameras,” he said. “It’s saved a whole lot of time, a whole lot of trouble and a whole lot of investigations over the years.”
Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert said he supports body-worn cameras.
“Any time you can show all sides of a situation, the better it is for everybody,” Hebert said.