Tucked deep into the agenda for the Tuesday, Dec.15 Boise City Council meeting
is Res-675-15, a game-changing resolution expected to launch the City of Boise into a new age, where it will join other jurisdictions—like the Ada County Sheriff's Office—with officer-worn body cams.
This summer, Boise Police Department Chief Bill Bones said
he was anxious to see his police force equipped with body cams.
"I'm asked about them all the time, and more than a few people are shocked when I say I absolutely love them. They're an incredible tool for accountability and training."
However, he is well aware the technology triggers privacy challenges.
"Idaho is one of the states that hasn't been too progressive on this. Yes, we should release information, but we shouldn't be compromising the privacy of someone caught in a bathrobe when they answer the door. We're talking with manufacturers about our ability to turn off the video and keep the audio, especially if we're simply interviewing someone in their home because they're a possible witness."
Bones says he expects to have some of his patrol officers equipped with body cams as early as the spring of 2016 with much of the entire force to be equipped within a year. BPD has chosen the Arizona-based Taser International
to manufacture the equipment which has a "proven 97 percent accuracy in documenting when and where an activity via a Computer Aided Dispatching System." Additionally, a "digital evidence storage service will allow an unlimited amount of media storage and gives the ability for those with a need to know to view, download and/or redact video as needed for court proceedings and public records requests."
The invoice/quote from Taser International, which is part of the agenda packet for the Dec. 15 meeting, includes pricing for hundreds of cameras, accessories, hardware and data storage for a total of more than $1.4 million. The delivery and payment would be spread out in multi-year phases, and some of Boise's expenses would be covered through U.S. Department of Justice grant funds, according to city officials.