Metropolis council discusses physique cameras for Youngstown Police

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Detective Sgt. Jose Morales Jr. plans to finalize body camera guidelines by next month and have an axon body camera test completed within a few weeks.

YOUNGSTOWN – City council members discussed body camera plans for the Youngstown Police Department at the security committee meeting Thursday.

Detective Sgt. Jose Morales Jr. said the department has met with multiple body camera vendors, including BodyWorn, G-Tech Solutions, Motorola, and Axon, since January.

Morales pointed out the axon Camera demonstration as impressive.

“They say they hold nearly 60 percent of that market of the country’s top 1,200 agencies,” Morales said. “They are very popular across the nation.”

According to Morales, Axon has a community engagement program that is offered for free. Company employees will attend community forums or city council meetings to discuss the functions of their cameras.

YPD also asked the Akron Police Department about the use of axon body cameras. According to Morales, the Akron division was satisfied with the Axon services and associated software.

Morales said he was working on a body camera guideline for the department that would be finalized and presented at next month’s meeting.

Over the next few months, YPD plans to have 15 to 20 axon body cameras tested, which will take between 30 and 60 days. According to Morales, around 20 police officers volunteered to use the cameras during the probationary period.

Morales said that since everything that has been recorded will be public knowledge during the trial period, he is working to speed up body camera guidelines.

Morales said he hoped to have body cameras for all officers in the department by July or early August.

During the meeting, Morales said the cost of cameras and software was in the range: BodyWorn was about $ 1 million, Motorolla was about $ 320,000, and Axon was about $ 524,000.

Morales said the most expensive part of body cameras is not the cameras, but the software and storage that goes with them.

Councilor Anita Davis, District 6, wondered if body cameras were needed for every officer. She said there will be days when no cameras are used between different shifts, vacation days and sick days.

Morales said there hasn’t been much discussion about not having a camera for every officer. He said the way he sees it would be like a radio assigned to each officer.

“If you want to come in and do a job where you wear uniform that evening or that day, you can choose your own camera with your own footage on it. Said Morales.

Davis said if there is any way to save money, the department should consider other options.

“There is a way to do this without buying [a camera] for every uniformed officer, ”said Davis.

Davis suggested that Morales check with the Warren Police Department because they don’t have a body camera for every officer and they operate on federal guidelines.

City Councilor Julius Oliver, District 1, asked if the department was looking at local businesses that could offer body cam services. Morales said the department only looked at established national camera companies.

Oliver said if the services are the most expensive part of the cameras, then the Tactical Protection and Surveillance department should look into the Tactical Protection and Surveillance department who reached out to him to provide these services to YPD.

“I think you could save some money by using the company that is right downtown,” said Oliver.

Morales said he was looking for more information.