Fayetteville City Council Approves Grant To Help Foot Cost Of Body Cameras

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The Fayetteville City Council approved a federal grant on Tuesday (Dec. 20) that will cover some of the cost associated with police body cameras.

The 50/50 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and will divvy up $186,496 to both Fayetteville and Springdale Police Departments, along with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Springdale will receive $73,696 of the grant money, Fayetteville Police Department will receive about $67,680 and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will receive $45,120.

Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor said his department will begin drafting a policy that addresses 42 criteria required by the DOJ, which will also have to approve the policy.,

"The grant will only pay a certain portion," Tabor said. "We don't know what the exact cost is going to be yet, because we're still having to work out the details of which camera we're going to use, what storage devices we're going to use. For example, are we going to store it in house or store it in the cloud."

Other topics, like when the camera will turn on, how long it will stay on and how long to store video will be addressed in the department's policy.

Tabor called body cameras useful devices, but added that they're only a tool and not a cure-all.

"You're going to have those weird times where they didn't work, you're going to be a tussle and it gets knocked off," Tabor said. "They've only got a certain field of view where your head is on a swivel and you can maybe see things that the camera didn't."

Despite his concerns, Tabor said he welcomed the transparency that comes with the addition of body cameras to his officers.

"We have nothing to hide. Anything we do, we're doing it as an agent of the public," said Tabor. "So, I think the more transparent we can be, the better off we all are."

The process is expected to take a matter of months, but Tabor said it could take upwards of a year before all uniformed officers in the Fayetteville Police Department are wearing body cameras.