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Phoenix City Council to decide on police body cams

Phoenix City Council members will decide whether to equip the entire police department with body cameras Tuesday afternoon.

PHOENIX - Phoenix City Council members will decide whether to equip the entire police department with body cameras Tuesday afternoon.

The city's proposed budget includes $11.4 million to pay for the equipment.

But the question is whether that money is better spent on hiring more law enforcement or giving officers better benefits.

The money could pay for the salaries of an additional 100 officers for one year. In 2015, a seven-year hiring freeze within the department ended because the department was down hundreds of police officers.

In favor of the body cameras is City Manager Ed Zuercher. His plan is to phase in body cameras over the next three years. His argument is the equipment protects officers and holds them accountable.

Phoenix PD does have about 140 cameras, mostly in Maryvale Precinct, and there is grant funding to pay for about 150 more. But this plan would allow for 2,000 more, equipping every single officer on the force.

The City Council meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m.

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