Huntsville city leaders researching options in effort to get police body cameras

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Some people at Thursday's Huntsville city council meeting raised concerns about police accountability in the wake of another officer-involved shooting in the city.

Thursday, council members gave an update about where they are in the process to get body cameras for Huntsville Police. They tell us they're still committed to the idea.

"Research is ongoing right now amongst the city staff," said John Hamilton, city administrator. He said the Huntsville Police Department is working with them on that. "Clearly you've got to find the right hardware solution. An important part of that-- we have a strong desire to maintain the dash cams that exist inside the cars," he said.

But it's also a matter of data storage. And all of this comes at a cost.

"There's clearly the upfront cost of buying the hardware but also the... cost day after day, year after year of storing that data, managing that data," Hamilton explained.

Still, it's a cost council members say they want to pay. They're hoping to use grants the city will need to compete for in order to do that. It's this grant application process that Councilman Richard Showers wants to expedite.

"I don't think we can afford to wait until some other incidents take place," he said.

The understanding at Thursday's meeting was that body cameras need to happen, and the community still wants them.  Plans are going forward, but it's not something the city can rush into.

"I believe we should take our time. We should measure ten times and cut once," explained council member Will Culver.


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