NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville will begin to fully outfit Metro police officers with body-worn cameras.

“Body-worn cameras will promote trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they are sworn to serve,” said Mayor Cooper in a release. “They will be an important tool in addressing racial injustice throughout Davidson County. Since campaigning for office, I have supported body-worn cameras in Nashville and the need to invest in this vital technology the right way. We are delivering on that commitment today, and we are doing it in a cost responsible way.”

The deployment of the body cameras for officers will begin in July at West Precinct, with 86 body cameras and 65 patrol cars. West Precinct is currently the only precinct with the IT infrastructure in place to support the body cameras and camera deployment.

Patrol cars will also be equipped with three in-car cameras, which will provide additional views of police incident responses and arrests.

Work on the IT infrastructure upgrades necessary to support body cameras at the seven additional precincts will resume immediately, according to the mayor’s office.

MORE: Metro Police holds public demonstration of new body cameras

“Body cameras will promote trust and accountability for law-enforcement and the people of Nashville,” said District Attorney General Glenn Funk. “I thank Mayor Cooper for prioritizing this project. These efforts will lead to a safer Nashville.”

“An encounter with law enforcement is not something that any Nashvillian should worry about having to survive,” said Council Member At-Large Sharon Hurt. “It’s no secret that Metro’s financial constraints are great, but Mayor Cooper has demonstrated through this effort, with IT infrastructure upgrades starting immediately and deployment rolling out in July, as a first step, that his commitment to create tangible change for our Black community is genuine.”

Mayor Cooper has directed Metro police to complete precinct IT infrastructure upgrades within six months, according to the mayor’s office. Deployment to other precincts will begin no later than February 2021.

Metro police will provide monthly updates on the state of the IT buildout and on body camera deployment. Deployment will be completed when approximately 1,325 Metro police officers and 30 Metro Park police officers are equipped with cameras. To further enhance accountability, Metro police is installing in-car cameras in the department’s 734 patrol cars.

“This deployment will provide unprecedented clarity into how the police and residents interact,” said Mayor John Cooper. “I want to thank General Funk, Public Defender Johnson, and all of our criminal justice stakeholders for coming together around a plan that will make bodycams a success in Nashville. The wait for bodycams is over. Let me be clear: We are moving forward with full deployment as quickly as possible.”

The deployment of Metro’s body cameras is due to cost reductions from within the police department and the camera’s vendor, Motorola.  

Over the course of five months of discussions, stakeholders developed a streamlined workflow that reduced the estimated annual costs of the cameras from approximately $40 million to approximately $2.1 million in 2021 fiscal year, according to a release. Staffing requirements were also reduced from an estimated 200 new staff to approximately 16 additional staff. The operating expenses for this deployment will come from the Public Health & Safety contingency fund for Metro police in Mayor Cooper’s proposed 2021 budget.