- Associated Press - Saturday, February 18, 2017

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Sioux City Council has voted to delay outfitting its police officers with body cameras until at least next year, citing a lack of state policy governing the cameras’ use.

Council members support use of the cameras, but don’t want to rush in only to have legislation or courts change the standards for maintaining and using video as evidence, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2lmRzkY ).

Mayor Bob Scott said the city needs direction on how much body-camera video police departments are required to store and for how long. Larger and longer storage requirements can greatly add to the cost of using body cameras.

“We could buy these and we could find ourselves in a huge liability,” Scott said at a city budgeting meeting Thursday.

The city has budgeted more than $67,000 to enter into a five-year contract to purchase body cameras and store video. The cost would cover all software and hardware costs for 87 body cameras, including a replacement of all equipment at the halfway point of the contract.

On Thursday, the City Council voted to defer half of the budgeted $67,242 for the cameras until next year. Keeping half the amount in the current budget plan allows the city to get the ball rolling on police body cameras if a state policy becomes clearer, Scott said.

“Something may change, and then we could at least do it halfway through the fiscal year,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we have to.”

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com


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