Finance committee moves body cam buy forward; motion now goes to full council

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A typical Watchguard body cam system (Courtesy image(

ROCHESTER - The effort to equip all front-line Rochester Police officers with body cameras moved one step forward on Monday as the finance committee unanimously approved a bid waiver that would allow purchase from Watchguard, the desired vendor.

Watchguard comprises a lower startup cost, but higher annual licensing contract, while the other two - Axon and Bodyworn - have much higher startup costs and lower annual fees.

Rochester Police Chief Gary Boudreau noted that Watchguard is not only the lowest bidder overall, but that their camera systems are already in use in Rochester Police cruisers, which will allow a seamless continuum of use once the body cams are implemented.

The purchase has already been approved as part of the Capital Improvement Project budget for the department, which plans on purchasing 60 body cameras that would go on frontline patrol supervisors and officers as well as detectives.

The total cost for the Watchguard option comprises about $15,000 for startup costs and $50,000 during the five-year contract.

Boudreau said that body cameras are increasingly necessary now and "monitors behavior on both ends."

"This gives protection for officers and citizens, and gives a true picture of hat officers are seeing," Boudreau said. "It's historically been shown to cut down on complaints."

The competitive bid waiver will now go to the full council for its approval.

Body cameras have been used by Milton Police for about a decade and have proved very successful, according to Milton Police Chief Richard Krauss.

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