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Cincy police chief to move forward with body cameras

Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati's police chief will be in Washington, D.C., later this week trying to find federal funding to equip his patrol officers with body cameras.

Jeffrey Blackwell estimates the city would need to buy about 600 cameras.  That would carry a price tag of $800,000 to $1.5 million. He said he is hopeful the federal government could pay half that cost.

Blackwell said there are still many questions about the use of body cameras.

"When should you record, when should you not record, do you have the right to record in a private residence, do you need consent in those situations," Blackwell said. "There's a whole host of technology issues dealing with storage and retention and recoverability."

The decision follows a three month trial of body cameras in District Three. Blackwell said studies in other cities show the devices reduce the use of force incidents.

"We think that any picture and any audio can enhance officer safety, reduce complaints, and reduce citizens acting out as well," Blackwell said.

Credit TASER / Provided
One of the two kinds of body cameras the department tested.

Blackwell said the department tested body cameras from two different companies, and each had positive and negatives.

Last week, President Obama announced he would ask Congress for federal funding to equip local police officers with body cameras, following high profile incidents in Cleveland, Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.