LAPD's plan to equip officers with body cameras stalls

A plan to have every Los Angeles police officer wear a body camera has been delayed by concerns over cost.

There are only about 700 or so body cameras in use currently, purchased largely through donations and grants. The plan announced by Mayor Eric Garcetti is to have every officer wearing one by the end of next year.

But the plan is not moving ahead too quickly.

The City Council has yet to finish approving the plan, the money and the review process.

The cameras are beneficial both in terms of documenting crimes caught on video and also as a way to prove or disprove allegations of officer misconduct.

LA City Councilman Mitch Englander is now calling for a ''cost benefit analysis'' and maybe even sending the whole process out for a new ''request for proposal''. He doesn't think that taking the time to get things right will delay the cameras significantly, but not everyone agrees.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said, "that's a step we don't believe is necessary. We don't believe it's prudent, we don't believe it is in the best interests of public safety in Los Angeles."

Police Commission Vice President Steve Soboroff, who was instrumental in raising the funds to purchase the first group of body cameras, added ''I want this done in 18 months not 18 years." Soboroff says of Englander's apparent quest for clarification, "we went thru the right process. It was fair, it was legal, it was kosher, it was moral, it was ethical. There is just no reason for {the delay}."

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