Miamisburg OKs purchase of bodycams for police department

Miamisburg plans to buy body-worn cameras for its police officers, adding the city to a growing list of area law enforcement agencies seeking to increase accountability and transparency.

Miamisburg Police Chief John Sedlak said his department had been considering the measure for several years and recently filed for a grant through the state’s Office of Criminal Justice Services.

“We received that ($52,154) grant, so that kind of propelled us into it at that point,” Sedlak said Monday.

Miamisburg City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the purchase of 45 body-worn camera systems and 45 Tasers, and with a separate vote, 15 AXON Fleet 3 integrated in-car video cameras.

Sedlak said the body cameras offer multiple benefits.

“From a community perspective, it’s just another layer of transparency that we can provide to the community,” he said. “We have a great relationship with our community and there’s really not been a call that (has been) pushing us into (body-worn cameras) or anything else. We just think that that technology has advanced to the point where it makes sense for our department and it will provide some transparency for the community.”

ExploreLocal police agencies land state funding for body-worn cameras

The city’s police force has been using in-car video cameras “for a long time,” Sedlak said.

“This is just another step beyond that,” he said.

When it comes to the department’s officers, the bodycams are “good from an evidence standpoint” because it shows an incident as it occurs, Sedlak said. That evidence often can be used in investigations and prosecution.

With body-worn cameras that already are used on the national level, “these things already fall in the officers’ favor,” Sedlak said.

“We get very few complaints against our officers, but if there is a complaint, then it’s a very good piece to be able to go back” and review an incident, he said.

The body-worn cameras’ cost of $418,512 will be paid in five annual installments of $82,527, plus a one-time training and setup fee of $5,875 in the first year, the city said. The in-car video cameras’ cost is $120,528, which will be divided into five annual installments of $24,106.

Each purchase includes all the ancillary hardware, software, accessories, training programs and warranties.

By bundling the purchase of AXON body cameras with AXON Tasers, Miamisburg was able to realize a 27.3% discount, the city said.

The AXON ecosystem integrates with several systems in use by the police department and allows for unlimited storage in the cloud.

The devices should be delivered within 45 days, Sedlak said. Training by AXON on how to use them and how to use the software will follow.

“Once that happens then we’ll start utilizing them immediately,” Sedlak said.

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