Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cost derails cop cams

By Jon Manchester - CASTANET Nov 15, 2016 / 6:12 am
The cost of equipping Vancouver Police with body cams has derailed the project. The program would cost $17 million. Police estimate each camera and accessories would cost $2,300. Maintenance, data storage, and software would bring that to $26,000 per camera. The alarmingly high cost was revealed in internal budget documents obtained in a Freedom of Information request by CTV. “It’s extremely high. It’s not affordable right now,” VPD spokesman Staff Sgt. Randy Fincham told CTV. “Until something comes along or someone comes along who is willing to fund the project, we don’t have the means.” The body cams are estimated to cost $1.5 million in total, and data storage $12.3 million. The balance would mostly come in staffing costs and a contingency budget. That's about six per cent of the department's entire budget. And that doesn't include the cost of retrieving videos for court or transcribing the video. “It does seem like an awful lot of money. Is there a misplaced decimal?” said the NDP’s Mike Farnworth. “$17 million is the budget of some local police forces. Is this just an excuse not to do it?” The plan was to get 660 of the GoPro cameras. The VPD currently has eight in use.

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