PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says he’s allocating $650,000 from next year’s budget to outfit the city’s entire police force with body cameras.
The administration said Monday it expects federal funding for a nationwide body camera initiative to match city funds diverted from senior centers and splash zones.READ MORE: Moderna Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is 96 Percent Effective In Children 12 To 17 Years Old
That’ll cover the estimated $1.3 million cost.
President Obama has asked Congress to provide $263 million for 50,000 body cameras and training for local police departments.
Demands for police to wear the cameras have increased since an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, fatally shot teenager Michael Brown in August.
Pittsburgh’s city council will take a final vote on Peduto’s proposed budget on Dec. 15. He’s calling for the city to spend $508 million on operations and $76.6 million on capital expenses.
The announcement came just before 56-year-old Cameron McLay was sworn in as the new police chief.READ MORE: Study: Lack Of Healthcare Prevents Longer, Healthier Living In Pennsylvania
“It’s the whole structure around the chief that will allow him to do that,” said Peduto. “Changes are needed.”
Now that it’s official, McLay can begin with the administrative tasks that go along with being a chief.
“I want him to create the staff around him that he believes he needs to do the things he wants to happen and I told him I will be hands off,” said Peduto.
The mayor says that starts with naming assistant chiefs and promoting detectives.
The chief’s biggest challenge might be overseeing the addition of body cameras.
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