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Rogers City Council approves body cameras for the city's police department

Soon, the Rogers Police Department will deploy body cameras for all uniformed officers to promote accountability.

ROGERS, Ark. — On Tuesday, September 13, the Rogers City Council approved the purchase of body cameras for the city’s police officers.

"Somewhere around $84-85,000, just the cameras alone," said Rogers Police Department Public Information Officer Keith Foster explaining the cost of the new body cameras. 

He says that cost does not include the new computer software, storage or editing software that is also needed.

"Why now?" Foster asked when asked why the city and department just got body cameras. "It's time."

Foster says the department has had in-car cameras for the past 20 years and adding body cams is the next step.

"Another great tool for accountability, transparency, evidence," Foster said.

With the new tools come new and updated procedures for the cameras.

Rogers Public Safety Committee Chairperson, Marge Wolf explains what each officer would be required to do with the cameras before each shift. 

"Make sure that all of it is in good working order before an officer takes off for assignment," Wolf said.

Each officer will be required to wear a camera during their shift and record every interaction.

"We realize that there is a definite need for this type of information to be given to be aware of," Wolf said.

Foster explains that the cameras will also automatically record in some cases. 

"If the car light is on..then the camera automatically turns on."

The cameras will also turn on when an officer pulls out their gun or whenever the officer's car crashes.

"Our police department is very well served and is very well equipped and if there is an effort to protect it more than we have in the past, then that's what we're going to do," Wolf said.

According to city leaders, these new rules must take effect by Jan. 1, 2023. 

The policies also state that a supervisor must review footage regularly to ensure the cameras are being used properly.

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