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Kentwood Police Department plans for all officers to have body cameras by end of May

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 08:43:36-04

KENTWOOD, Mich. — The Kentwood Police Department is introducing a body camera program that will include the training and outfitting of all officers with the new technology.

It’s part of an effort to enhance accountability and transparency within the department, according to a news release Monday.

The department has had in-car cameras since 2000 and some body cameras since 2016.

Kentwood City Commission recently approved a five-year contract with Axon, the largest body camera provider in the U.S., for the needed equipment and technology.

The annual cost for the equipment and technology will be $117,000.

KPD has 71 sworn officers who serve about 51,000 residents.

“The Kentwood Police Department has consistently placed great emphasis on community engagement, accountability and transparency,” Kentwood Police Chief Richard Roberts said. “With the implementation of this technology, we can build on those efforts to continue to serve our community with excellence and grow trust. We know the trust of our community can only be earned by impartiality and fairness in daily policing functions and outreach to engage and educate the community.”

KPD plans to get all of its officers through the training and issue them body cameras by the end of May.