Police realized it needed new tasers for the officers’ uniforms — an expense totaling a hefty $14,000. As has been its pattern, the Willard Moose stepped up to the plate, helping to fund the purchase. City manager Jim Ludban said the city also received grant money which helped to cover the cost as well.
“We’re purchasing (body) cameras on a lease purchase arrangement,” he said.
“These are body cameras that they’ll get to wear up on their uniforms,” he said. “They’ll turn it on manually, say like during traffic stop and what not, like you see on TV. ... So the police department will get a lot of new equipment this year, the majority of which is funded by either grants or somebody donating to us. We appreciate that.”
Ludban said the equipment was a needed expense to ensure the safety of the community and officers, making them “even better equipped” to protect the local residents.
Councilman Josh Gerber asked what sort of policy and procedures Willard would put in place for the use of the body cameras, adding that he’s noticed other cities and departments have.
“That’s an issue some other departments are running into and how much of that footage is public record,” he said.
Ludban said it’s out of his and the department’s hands as far as what in the footage is public record, as laws and policies are already in place. He said the department has been in contact with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to help draft “several versions” of a policy for the body camera use.
“He (Sheriff Paul Sigsworth) has been using these for quite some time and we’re using his policy to help us draft ours,” he said.