After months of delay, Los Angeles on Wednesday approved nearly $60 million to outfit its police force with body cameras and a no-bid agreement with Taser International Inc. to supply the cameras.
With a plan to deploy 7,000 cameras, Los Angeles will become the largest police department in the country to so widely adopt the technology. The cameras became popular after deadly confrontations with police spurred nationwide protests starting in 2014.
Los Angeles’s city council had been set to approve the deal last year, but some members balked at the price tag as well as the decision to skip competitive bidding to speed up the process of outfitting cops with cameras.
On Wednesday, the city council voted to approve the deal. Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed support for the deal, saying the investment will help the department lead in “transparency and accountability.”
Los Angeles will pay Taser $31 million for cameras and storage over five years. The rest of the money will pay for phones and data plans from another supplier, as well as support staff to handle the influx of video footage, according to city estimates.