Eugene Police have secured a $249 thousand grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to purchase body cameras for officers. The 2 year matching grant is one of 73 awarded nationwide.
EPD is now developing policy on the use of the cameras and researching what kind of equipment to purchase and how to store video. Assistant Chief Karl Durr applied for the grant last spring.
Durr: "My expectation is that we'll be able to outfit all the patrol officers, patrol sergeants, lieutenants, and possibly even the detectives because even our investigations division has expressed interest that they want it."
Durr thinks they'll be able to purchase about 170 cameras. EPD's downtown officers and traffic enforcement unit currently wear body cameras. Durr thinks having all officers equipped with cameras will help build trust and show the cops in a positive light.
Durr: "I think most of the time it tells the story of how well our officers are working out there. In fact, the story that our officers want these body video cameras is a huge story in itself."
Durr says the Eugene City Council, Police Auditor and groups including the NAACP and ACLU supported the grant application.