Nashville DA says body cameras will cost millions more than expected at meeting

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The Davidson County District Attorney met with city leaders where he expressed concerns over cost and privacy with police body-worn cameras. 

The meeting took place Thursday with General Glenn Funk, the Mayor’s Director of Public Safety and Justice Policy Marcus Floyd, Nashville Public Defender Martesha Johnson and members of the Metro Police Department.  

Mayor David Briley and Chief Steve Anderson were not present. 

General Funk said he is concerned about how much the body cameras will really cost the taxpayers as well as the potential intrusions of privacy. 

Metro Council approved the first round of funding for body cameras in July 2017. Eighteen months later, police still do not have body cameras.  

Officers have been testing body cameras by three different vendors. The 90-day trial ends Wednesday. 

Funk says the massive amount of video the body cameras will produce will require 40-50 additional employees and cost his office $5.5 million each year. 

“The additional personnel will be needed as this office will be constitutionally required to review and redact video and then present it to defense counsel and the court,” General Funk said in a statement. “In addition, we have safety and privacy concerns because we cannot allow the dissemination of body cam footage to harm victims or make them more vulnerable, especially in cases of rape or child abuse.” 

Metro police officers should have body cameras by fall 2019.  

News 2 checked with similarly sized police departments about their body-worn camera program. St. Louis Police began looking at body cameras in 2015 and still do not have them.

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