City of South Lake Tahoe logoAfter a lengthy discussion, South Lake Tahoe City Council approved the purchase of body cameras for the police department at their meeting today.

Council approved the purchase of 42 body cameras, 28 in-car cameras, and cloud base storage for both. The total cost of the system will be no more than $470,000

“Body cameras keep our police officers and our residents and visitors safe,” said Chief David Stevenson, “This is just another level of transparency we are adding to our police officers who work every day to keep our City safe.”

The cameras, from a company called Axion, has an automatic turn-on feature. This means even if an officer fails to turn their camera on, the camera will automatically start recording. Also, if an officer is in range of another officer with their camera on, the back-up officers’ camera will turn on automatically as well.

“This kind of technology is exactly what our City needs for transparency and accountability,” said Lt. Shannon Laney, “The department has been working on deploying body cameras for years and we are looking forward to getting them on our officers and out on the streets.”

These cameras also come with other features like a real-time alerting system. When an officer’s camera is activated, the camera provides GPS location data to supervisors and dispatch. It also tells them what activated the camera.

“Research shows an officer wearing a body camera promotes more positive and compliant interactions between people and police,” said Laney, “It also helps with investigations, prosecutions, and increases officer safety.”

The resolution passed today will also include a full-time IT person to help with data storage and public record requests.