By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
After months of trial and error with different devices, Bend Police have settled on a body camera provider and expect the City Council to approve the contract next week.
“It is an investment by the community, an investment by city council and we appreciate that the community and council supports us with this money,” said Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz. “It is not cheap but is also well worth it in what it brings to our law enforcement and to our trust in the community.”
The body cams will cost $1 million over five years.
“We are really excited to have this final opportunity and to implement this program,” said Krantz.
Krantz believes body cams are a useful tool for capturing evidence.
“But also, for really a transparency and accountability for the work we are doing and also for accountability on the community’s part in confrontations and contacts that may not always go that well,” Krantz added.
Officers tested two types of body cams earlier in the year and decided to go with the technology offered by the brand Axon.
“Ultimately it showed that it was the best, most superior product for our needs and for our community’s needs,” he said.
He hopes the department will roll out the body cams to patrol officers by late Spring or early Summer.
In February, the Deschutes County’s Sheriff’s Office announced it would start using body cams by May.