Huntsville city council moves toward funding police body cameras

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Body cameras have been a hot topic at Huntsville City Council meetings over the past few weeks.

The council and Huntsville Police have researched their options and settled on a Federal grant they believe Huntsville is a "good competitor" to earn. If selected, it would award the city $600,000. The city would have to match another $650,000, said City Administrator John Hamilton.

This would cover the cost of 417 body camera systems, at $3000 apiece.

The council approved a resolution to apply for the grant, with the understanding that they would need to create space in the next budget to accommodate that funding match. But they also took it a step further.

Mayor Tommy Battle said they need to create some leeway in case the grant is not awarded to Huntsville.

"We will be budgeting this full amount into the budget," he said, pledging to budget the full $1.25 million dollars into his next proposal.

Community leaders who have pushed for body cameras, like TC Johnson, say this is all a step in the right direction.

"It shows leadership on behalf of our governance and I believe it is what a leading city should do," Johnson said. "We just appreciate working together as a whole community to do what's best for our community, in a peaceful environment."