TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - More Toledo police officers are getting body cameras, thanks to gr ant money just approved by Toledo City Council.
Lt. Joe Heffernan says the 54 cameras they have right now are with the afternoon shift officers working downtown, but the long-term goal is to make sure all officers who interact in the community have a camera as part of the uniform.
That's about 400 people.
They're chipping away at that goal by using a Department of Justice gr ant for $156,000.
Lt. Heffernan says they have about 290 people working on patrol responding to calls, and the money will pay for between 200 and about 230 body cameras.
He says they are looking to get more money to cover all the officers on patrol.
"The Chief's goal is to have everyone in field operations have a body camera this year," said Heffernan.
Lt Heffernan says this is important because it eliminates any he said/she said.
"It's very objective," said Lt. Heffernan. "You can see exactly what happened, so when we're dealing with someone that's maybe in a stressful situation, or impaired, or maybe not thinking clearly - when we have it documented with video, that goes a long way in helping us with our cases," said Heffernan.
As more officers get cameras, especially a new generation of body camera, Heffernan says they'll review their policy on how to use them.
"We'll make sure we're reviewing when we turn them on, when we don't turn them on," said Heffernan.
Lt. Heffernan says they're updating to a better camera system with this next batch of body cameras, so they will cost more, but they don't have a final number yet.