Green Bay mayor, police chief talk buying body cameras

The mayor says funding would come from the city’s capital budget.
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 11:14 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay city leaders have been working on several policing initiatives and policy changes, one of which is buying body cameras for the police department

Mayor Eric Genrich and Police Chief Andrew Smith say the timing is right, after getting some clarity from the state legislature on regulations surrounding the storage of footage.

The mayor and the chief shared the update during a community meeting Thursday.

The discussion around getting body cameras for the police department is not new, but the cost of the cameras and equipment needed to store the footage is another reason efforts have been put on hold.

“The problem is they are very expensive, so we’re looking at different vendors and trying to come out with what body camera, what software and what storage system for the evidence is going to work best for us,” said Chief Smith.

The equipment would cost more than a million dollars which the Mayor says will be included in the city’s capital budget.

The purchase would need city council approval and is expected to be discussed this fall.

Another initiative the police department is working on implementing is collecting demographic information during traffic stops.

“We want to make sure all of our officers are policing constitutionally and the idea is we need to take a look at who’s getting pulled over. Is there somebody who’s focusing on one gender, one ethnicity, one race, we want to make sure that’s not happening,” said Chief Smith.

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