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245 Akron police officers to wear body cameras

Posted at 3:48 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 17:09:40-04

Most Akron police officers are wearing — or soon will be wearing — body cameras, city officials announced at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Acting Police Chief Ken Ball believes the cameras will improve officer and civilian safety, record important evidence and provide transparency and accountability.

"This organization will never back away from transparency. We seek those things that are right, those things that are honorable," Ball said.

Ball said the cameras are especially important in the wake of several controversial police-involved incidents across the country.

However, city leaders feel the cameras will overwhelmingly capture positive interactions between cops and the community.

"Nobody likes to buy insurance, but this is insurance and this is insurance for the community," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan.

The cost of the camera system, including storage, is about $1 million. A federal grant paid for $368,000 of that amount. The city is paying the difference.

Akron spent two years researching various body cameras.

Video will be recorded in 30-second loops and then start a new recording. Officers will upload video at the end of their shifts.

Cameras will be worn by patrol officers, sergeants, neighborhood response teams and traffic officers.

192 officers will not wear the body cameras, including detectives and training officers.