PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officers with the Allegheny County Police Department will soon be required to wear body cameras.
Allegheny County Council approved a bill Tuesday to outfit county police officers with cameras and figure out a way to pay for cameras for officers in suburban departments.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools' Summer Program May Cut Nearly 1,000 Students Due To Staffing Shortages
Tuesday’s vote was nearly unanimous. Councilwoman Bethany Hallam was the lone councilperson to vote “no.” She told KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso that she does not support additional funding for police when there was no language in the bill ensuring the money would be spent on body cameras.
Before the county council voted, BPEP chairperson Tim Stevens urged them to vote for the cameras.
“Our hope is that the existing of body cams will remind officers on a daily basis of their awesome power, their awesome police powers, and that the misuse and abuse of such power might be recorded on video,” Stevens said.READ MORE: Fire Tears Through Idlewood Industries Building In Beaver County
“I think it’s the right thing to do for Allegheny County,” said Allegheny County Councilman Sam DeMarco. “I think this is something only to serve the relationship between the community and the law enforcement better.”
DeMarco introduced the bill, which mandates that county police have to issue body cameras to all uniformed patrol officers by the end of the year, and a working group will look at technology and come up with funding sources to help departments in the county get the body cameras.
Right now, there are over 100 police departments in the county and only a small number have body cameras.
“A picture speaks a thousand words. With that video, we can get to the bottom of the situation very easily, very quickly. So, therefore, I am in favor of it,” said Council President Patrick Catena.MORE NEWS: 'Unspeakable Animal Cruelty': Scottdale Man Charged For Beating, Running Over Stray Dog
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald needs to sign the bill next.