Bradenton PD launches pilot program for body-worn cameras

Manatee County

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – The Bradenton Police Department launched a pilot program for body-worn cameras this week. Nine cameras were deployed in the first phase of the program.

The police department is working with two vendors and is planned to meet with a third on Thursday.

Captain Brian Thiers told News Channel 8 body worn cameras are new to Bradenton PD, but something they wanted to look into given ‘culture changes’ happening nationwide.

“In years past, it has been not an issue of whether we want them or not. It has always been a budgetary issue, it has always been how do we deal with the public records requests, the privacy issues, those things are now something we are tackling and we are moving forward with this program,” Thiers said.

The pilot program will run for one to two months.

“The whole purpose of this is to foster a better community relationship and to obviously enhance transparency across law enforcement. We are 100% behind that, that whole entire mentality that is pushing through our nation right now,” the captain said.

Thiers couldn’t specify an exact timeline of when a permanent program might launch.

“This is an ASAP mindset for us. We want to get these cameras deployed as quickly as possible. Again, it is building that trust back to our community. We really want to foster that relationship with our community,” he said.

Capt. Thiers tells 8 On Your Side the body-worn cameras will be another tool to help officers be better cops. “It is accountability, it is transparency, but at the end of the day 99% of the time, these cameras work in favor of the officers and that is the ultimate goal is to provide safety for both our officers and our citizens,” he said.

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