- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The Alexandria Police Department will join a growing number of law enforcement agencies around the nation in having officers wear body cameras.

Police Chief Loren Lampert tells The Town Talk (https://townta.lk/1FcNTrl) the decision on which body camera system to purchase could be coming within a few months.

“I think everybody agrees that they’re coming,” Lampert said.

“And in my time as chief, 98 percent of the time, we’re tickled to death if a camera’s there. I think the officers are too.”

The cameras are similar to the police dashboard cameras in providing video of interactions between officers and the public, including suspects.

Lampert said his department, with assistance from the city’s technology experts, has been testing numerous body camera systems to see which ones would be best for his officers.

Ultimately, Lampert said, the goal is to “get the best value for the taxpayer at the same time giving quality and safety to the officers who are having to wear them and good quality video to the people who have to watch it.”

Mayor Jacques Roy said, “We had been looking into it, not just as a response to what’s happening around the nation,” but because of the importance of the issue.

Lampert said all of the body cameras tested so far seem to work fine, and the big issues to consider are “how to store the data, how to search the data, how to maintain the data in a way that’s usable.”

The testing process is expected to narrow the city’s options down to two or three possible vendors over the next few months.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com

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