Fresno City Council approves $2.5-million in police body cameras

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The city council approved buying 400 body cameras on Thursday, enough for every Police Officer in Fresno.

One hundred Fresno Police Officers have been wearing body cameras for more than a year. Sgt. Robert Dewey was one of the first, and he thinks they are a valuable tool.

"It's comforting to us to know that someone's watching over our backs," said Dewey.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is sold on the cameras and went before the city council to ask for permission to buy more than $2.5-million more cameras. "It will allow us to equip all of our officers with body worn cameras."

Accusations of police brutality across the country have prompted civil rights group to issue a nationwide call for these cameras. Chief Dyer supports the idea, but notes it's too bad trust in police has faltered. "I think it's a sad state in law enforcement that we've gotten to the point that every officer is expected to have body worn cameras. its unfortunate that the word of an officer isn't what it used to be at least to some people."

The cameras record whatever the officer sees. When confronting a criminal suspect Sgt. Dewey says the camera shows what a written report can't convey. "But video, its pretty cut and dry. You can see somebody's animation how angry they got they are yelling they are spitting."

In addition to the body cameras, police will get 400 new electronic taser guns from the same company as part of the deal. null
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.