- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

HOUMA, La. (AP) — Terrebonne Parish Council has approved buying body cameras for all Houma police officers.

“All of our officers are soon going to be equipped with body cameras. That way all public contact can be videoed,” Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis said. “It’s definitely going to be a win-win situation,” he said.

As part of the purchase of 84 body cameras, the council approved on Monday a five-year, $125,470 technology contract with the camera’s manufacturer, TASER.

The Courier reports (https://bit.ly/VPjZTz ) the initial setup for the equipment and software is around $55,000. Each subsequent year will cost roughly $14,000.

Duplantis said the new software used to upload and file videos onto a secure online server will replace roughly $12,000 of existing software used by the department.

Once uploaded, Duplantis says the videos cannot be tampered with.

Duplantis said the new software used to upload and file videos onto a secure online server will replace roughly $12,000 of existing software used by the department.

Once uploaded, the videos cannot be tampered with, Duplantis said.

Body cameras provide a more accurate and detailed record of events and help to improve officer accountability standards, officials said.

The council applauded the Houma Police Department on its desire to purchase and use the cameras.

“I’m glad to hear that our police department is going to take a strong lead in this one,” Councilwoman Arlanda Williams said.

Councilman John Navy said avoiding situations like the unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, over the Aug. 9 police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown is reason enough to implement the technology.

“From the perspective of accountability, I think it’s very important that you all are doing this,” Navy said. “I think it’s good for the police department and the citizens,” he said.

The purchase of the cameras brings Houma Police online with dozens of law enforcement agencies across the country, including in New Orleans and Thibodaux.

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Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com


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