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Tampa City Council approves funding for police body cameras

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa City Council has unanimously approved the funding for the police department to buy body cameras.

The $952,500 funding was approved Thursday and will be used to purchase 650 police body-worn cameras.

“If there is a police officer in the city of Tampa that does not want a body camera, I suggest you turn your badge in,” Police Chief Dugan said. “I think what you’re going to see with body-worn cameras, you’re going to see all the good that our cops do. People are going to be shocked. It’ll be instead of needing to go on a ride-along, you can go to Youtube and see all the good we do.”

The purchase was initially paused during the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting comes as protests over police brutality erupt across the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The city launched a pilot program in 2015, when Mayor Jane Castor was chief of police, giving 60 body cameras to street cops, school resource officers and others who deal with public safety.

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