City Council Approves Bid to Supply Police Cameras
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Body cameras for the Twin Falls Police Department is a reality after the City Council on Monday approved a bid by Taser International Inc. for $127,510 to supply the department with the cameras.
Four different companies put bids on the project, but Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser was the only one that qualified, Capt. Anthony Barnhart told the council members.
The police department will purchase 60 cameras, but plans to implement the program slowly starting with just a handful.
“We’ll roll out with about five or six cameras,” Barnhart told News Radio 1310 after the presentation, noting that he hopes to have the program fully implemented and all the cameras in use by winter-spring of 2017.
Before that time arrives patrol officers will be trained on how to properly use the cameras. Aim is to make the department as professional and transparent as possible in the 21st century, Barnhart said.
In 2015 the police department was awarded a $90,000 matching grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help implement the program. The city pitched in another $49,000, for a total of $229,000 to fund the program.
Twin Falls is one of 73 police departments out of more than 200 that applied for the grant and received it, Barnhart said in a previous interview. Many community stakeholders are involved.
The cameras will not only make the officers more transparent in their line of duty, but will hold citizens that officers deal with on a daily basis more accountable for their actions. The cameras will record whenever an officer is called to a scene.
Recordings from the cameras will be archived for review and investigation. Some recordings will remain archived longer than others, depending on the reporting incident: Rape and homicide investigations will be archived for 100 years; felonies for five years; misdemeanors for two years; and accidental reporting files, such as recordings of non-crime incidences, for 14 days.
Mayor Shawn Barigar, who commended Barnhart and his team for their careful attention and professional manner in implementing the program, said the cameras are another tool that will help the police department become more effective as it serves the growing community.
“We’re getting the cameras,” Barnhart said excitedly after the meeting. “This will be a good thing.”