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Norfolk chief orders 300 body cameras for officers

September 23, 2014 | Virginia News

Police Chief Mike Goldsmith has ordered 300 body cameras for his officers - a purchase intended to improve transparency of policing and eliminate "he said/she said" disputes.

City Manager Marcus Jones told City Council members about the request Monday at their annual retreat. The department has more than 700 officers.

The purchase comes after police shot and killed two men armed with knives in June and wounded a woman when she was shot by an officer in her car in August.

After a white police officer killed an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., last month, Goldsmith said he worried that incident would affect his department's relationship with the community and that he was seeking ways to strengthen his department's community ties.

Drug forfeiture assets will be used to buy 300 cameras to start the program, city spokeswoman Lori Crouch said. The request is making its way through the city's purchasing department, she said.

Chesapeake police officers already wear a body camera to record their actions.

"I think Ferguson is a wake-up call to all of us, to reexamine ourselves," Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said.

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