Funding for police body cameras in Lexington is not included in the budget plan that members are expected to approve next week.
However, city leaders remain interested in the technology and funding will likely be discussed in the fall. Council member Susan Lamb expressed some anxiety about putting off a funding decision until later this year. "The last thing we want to do is tell our public that we don't care," said Lamb. "We have to make sure that they know that we do care."
There was initially some consideration given to adding the projected $600,000 cost to the current budget proposal, but officials decided that more study is needed. City Chief Information Officer Aldona Valicenti says there are several facets to the technology. "Cause that now becomes open records," Valicenti said. "As subject to open records, the ability to retrieve that, that is still complicated. I get a news flash in my inbox from some vendor almost daily about body cameras."
Public Safety Commissioner Ronnie Bastin says technologies for body cameras consistently evolve. He says the city is looking for the most pragmatic and most cost effective system. "I know people want to move forward very quickly, but this is one that's gonna have significant expense from now on," explained Bastin. "So it's imperative that we choose the right system as we go into this. And that's what we're trying to do with it."
The council is expected to consider a number of funding issues in September or October.