At today’s City Council Meeting, your Mayor & Council unanimously approved $6.6 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for the purchase of body-worn cameras for the El Paso Police Department.
The funding will cover the costs for Digital Video Recording Systems, which includes 700 body-worn cameras and 410 mobile video recorders for the El Paso Police Department.
District 7 City Representative and former El Paso Police Officer, Henry Rivera, who placed the item on today’s agenda to direct the City Manager to use $6.6 million from ARPA Funds for body-worn cameras, has been advocating for the devices since taking office in 2017 and is excited that the project is finally moving forward.
“I am beyond ecstatic and beyond grateful to everyone who has stood with me for the implementation of body-worn cameras for our police department,” said District 7 City Representative Henry Rivera. “It is long overdue that our officers, who work the frontlines every day, are equipped with these body-worn cameras that will protect not only them, but also the citizen they are dealing with and the community as a whole.”
The El Paso Police Department currently only has 34 body-worn cameras that were purchased using a $110,000 grant secured by District 7 City Representative Henry Rivera in 2018. Of the 34 body-worn cameras, 17 were deployed to the DWI Task Force and 17 to the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). The 700 body-worn cameras, which are expected to be deployed in the Summer of 2023, will go to patrol and traffic officers.
In addition to the $6.6 million in ARPA funds, the City expects to be awarded a state grant in the amount of $497,790 later this month and the City will match $165,930 into the program. Altogether, the funding sources will provide approximately 3 years of costs for the body-worn camera program, which then allows the City enough time to develop a funding plan for the remaining two years of costs.
District 7 City Representative Henry Rivera thanks the Mayor & Council for their unanimous support to fund Phase 2 of the body-worn camera program for the El Paso Police Department and the City Manager, Tommy Gonzalez and his team for their ongoing commitment to making the project possible.