Miami-Dade Approves Body Cameras for Police

It's finally official. Cameras are coming to the bodies of Miami-Dade's cops. Three-and-a-half years after the idea was proposed, the Miami-Dade County Commission has voted to approve a program to equip county officers with body cameras. 

"With today's approval, approximately 1,000 Miami-Dade Police officers will be equipped with body-worn cameras by the end of the year. I am confident that these cameras will showcase the good work that our officers perform and will serve as an effective tool to better connect our police department with our community," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.

The ordinance was passed unanimously, which wasn't a surprise. The project had broad support, including among citizens and former Miami-Dade Police Department Director J.D. Patterson. 

Though, body cameras took a little longer than expected to be approved. Last fall, the plan was to have some body cameras on officers by the end of 2015. The department had won a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to help fund the acquisition of the cameras, but legislation got caught up in committee. 
The ordinance passed yesterday officially approves a five-year, $5.5 million agreement with Vievu, a body camera manufacturer, for the cams and related software and storage. Vievu's cameras are attached to an officer's shirt. Officers will be required to record all interactions with the public. 

The program will outfit 1,000 of the department's 2,633 officers with cameras and should begin this summer. 

Other local police departments are also seeking body cameras or have experimented with pilot programs, but so far only the Miami Beach Police Department had officially adopted body cameras as policy. That department's program was officially rolled out this past February 1

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