HOUSTON – This past July, Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner made it clear that his department not only lacked funding but also needed Houstonians to step up.
“The citizens in Houston at some point in time we are going to have to really face how we are going to properly fund public safety,” said Finner.
At the time KPRC 2 Investigates reported that just over 15% of the department’s fleet had dash cam cameras. However, expect changes to those numbers in the form of a $2.4 million dollar agenda item vote at City Hall on Wednesday.
“I think it’s a good step because a dash cam can tell you sometimes as much as a body cam can tell you,” said Shelby Stewart, a former member of HPD and Civil Rights Activist.
The investment will translate to 186 more HPD dashcams on the streets but those are not the only camera lenses to be voted on. The City Council also voting on a separate HPD package that includes $800,000 for body cameras.
“There are all kinds of benefits to having these cameras. We believe our officers show, every day our officers are doing it right on these cameras and we applaud the city for buying more,” said Doug Griffith, President of the Houston Police Officers Union.
The additional transparency - over 1000 new cameras in all according to the union - is not only being embraced by the department but also by those who have been critical of it in the past.
“If the Houston Police Department does things that make the department more transparent and accountable, I’m for that,” said Stewart.