BAY AREA — The police departments in both Tampa and St. Petersburg are moving forward with body cameras for officers.
The St. Petersburg Police Department has unveiled new body cameras for police officers.
What You Need To Know
- Tampa, St. Pete police departments moving ahead with body cameras
- Being tested in St. Pete
- Expected to be approved by Tampa city council
Right now they're just doing prototypes, with five officers and Chief Anthony Holloway.
The cameras will be tested over the next several months. The department eventually plans to outfit all officers with body cams.
Meanwhile, the Tampa City Council is expected to approve a $1 million request from Mayor Jane Castor to pay for 600 body cameras for officers.
The money was originally allocated in the city budget but last month Castor requested the council delay approval of the funding because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The city is now short millions of dollars in revenue. Castor said the city will refinance some bond obligations to free up the money.
City councilman Guido Maniscalco said the cameras are needed.
"I think it’s up to the administration where it just keeps us on that schedule, and we move (forward) with the body cameras now,” Maniscalco said. “As originally intended without interruption, without pause.
“My personal opinion is that body cams should be prioritized and it’s something that I will fight for. If there is going to be a debate, the people should know that I stand by them and I hear them."
The Tampa council is expected to approve the proposal Thursday.