ATLANTA – The Atlanta City Council approved the purchase of 1,200 body worn cameras and video storage equipment for members of the Atlanta Police Department at a cost of $5.6 million.
Atlanta is engaged with TASER International to purchase body worn cameras and video evidence storage system. TASER cameras are used by 34 major cities in the United States. The authorizing legislation was sponsored by City Councilmember Kwanza Hall.
“I would like to thank Mayor Reed and Chief Turner for their leadership on this important issue, as well as the Department of Procurement for getting us to this point in an expeditious fashion,” Hall said. “I am also grateful to my colleagues on the Atlanta City Council. Our vote today sends a strong message that we want our officers to be equipped with every tool they need to ensure their safety and that we are committed to transparency for our citizens in their interactions with law enforcement.”
The legislation is one of a number of criminal justice reform papers initiated by Hall in the past two years. In October 2014, the Atlanta City Council passed legislation codifying “banning the box” in hiring practices for those seeking employment with the City of Atlanta, after the city’s Department of Human Resources adopted it as an administrative practice under Mayor Reed. In December 2015, Hall sponsored legislation creating a design team for a pre-arrest diversion initiative between the city and Fulton County. And in July of this year, Hall introduced three papers aimed at increasing transparency and re-examining so-called “zero tolerance” law enforcement practices. Those papers are currently under discussion, with a Council work session planned in the coming weeks.