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Detroit Police to get integrated body camera, in-car video systems

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

Detroit police are about to start recording far more of what they do.

The Detroit City Council approved a $5.2 million contract for police body cameras and in-car video systems Tuesday.

The move has the support of Detroit Police Chief James Craig, and the city’s police unions.

Craig says the department just escaped more than a decade of federal oversight for unconstitutional policing practices. Now, the challenge is sustaining the progress it made.

“We have passed that long and rigorous test, and now it’s about sustainability. And we believe going forward that the body-worn cameras will enhance sustainability, certainly enhance transparency, and also enhance officer safety,” Craig told the city council.

Craig says the technology has the potential for “total integration,” meaning it should provide a complete video and audio record of patrol officers, and their interactions with citizens.

Craig says the plan is to introduce the new technology in two police precincts next month, and start department-wide deployment in August.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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