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Officials delay deployment of body cameras to police officers

HOUSTON – In April of last year, Mayor Sylvester Turner said police officers should have body cameras in 18 months. However, that may not be the case anymore.

Currently, every movement 600 Houston police officers make should be recorded on their body cameras.  It’s part of a plan to equip every one of Houston’s patrol officers and those working second jobs with body cameras. 

The city is temporarily suspending the deployment of the cameras while it and its vendor check out a possible battery problem.

"I think this is going to be a problem for a short time because they're going to have to start turning their body cameras in so the next ones can get them,” the president of the Houston police officers union, Ray Hunt, said.
Houston’s mayor addressed the delay today. 

He was asked whether the batteries can power the camera for the entire shift, plus an officer's possible extra job.

"What you don't want is the batteries not being charged so to speak, and then all of a sudden something happens. And then you don't have the footage and the excuse is the battery died. That kind of hurts the credibility of the system,” Mayor Turner said.

Houston’s police chief says in some cases, the cameras are not recording through an entire shift.

"Our officers, you have to keep in mind, many of them don't just work patrol and then go home. Many of them have second jobs where we want them to have those cameras in the interest in transparency,” Police Chief Art Acevedo said.