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Alexandria Police Department wants all officers to wear body-worn cameras by January

Body-worn camera (photo via Tony Webster/Flickr)

The Alexandria Police Department will start rolling out its body worn camera program next month but it won’t be until next January that all the department’s officers are wearing them.

Thirty cameras will be deployed to officers on April 17, according to a staff presentation to City Council on Tuesday night.

“On April 17, we will begin our first deployments and will continue until every commander, supervisor and officer in this department is wearing a body worn camera,” APD lieutenant Jason North told Council. “We decided to be very strategic and intentional with the deployments. We will start on April 17 with 30 users. Of those 30 users, we will make that representative of our police department, which is 60% field operations, 30% investigations and 10% administration.”

Every month, 30 more cameras will be given to officers. Training takes eight hours and afterward, officers will then “go live” with them, North said. With more than 300 officers in the department, full deployment won’t be finished until January.

City Manager Jim Parajon said that the rollout of the cameras allows for the city to adapt to their use.

“Every time we add body worn cameras, we will have the appropriate support personnel to put a video and be able to go all the way through a process that’s been intentionally designed that way,” Parajon said.

City Council approved $2 million for the program in the current budget, including five new attorneys with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to handle the footage. Parajon’s FY 2024 budget proposal includes three more positions totaling $258,000, as well as three “contingency” positions for $288,000 depending on the outcome of a workload analysis. Additionally, Parajon is asking for a one-time payment of $97,000 to upgrade the Alexandria Circuit Court’s information technology services.

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