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Sarasota Police deploying body cams to officers

The Sarasota Police department says by the end of the week all of its patrol officers will be equipped with brand new body cams.

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota Police department says by the end of the week all of its patrol officers will be equipped with brand new body cams.

Chief James Rieser made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The agency will deploy 122 of the cameras to its street cops with an additional 32 helmet-worn cameras specially designed for SWAT team members wearing tactical gear.

The program will cost $3.2 million over five years, enhancing the agency’s transparency and trust within the community.

"The mayor, the city staff, the community, everybody I’ve talked to wants this, and so do we," said Chief Rieser. "This program will enhance accountability and public trust. It will produce maximum transparency for our agency."

The cameras can be manually activated or will turn on automatically when an officer activates their lights or draws their gun or taser. An officer’s camera will also turn on if another officer within 30 feet activates their camera for any reason.

Training within the agency began in April and will actually be finishing ahead of schedule by the end of the month.

The eventual plan is to ensure every officer is equipped with a camera.

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