EPPD chief answers what took so long for body cams

El Paso News

El Paso city leaders were all smiles as they accepted a $110,000 grant to fund the first body cameras for the El Paso Police Department.

The grant, spearheaded by El Paso City Rep. Henry Rivera, comes from the Andeavor Corporation with contributions from the El Paso Community and Cardwell foundations.

Cameras have been in use and at the center of high-profile cases all over the country for years. Until now, El Paso was the only major city in Texas without them.

“I’ve never been resistant to cameras,” El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said Tuesday. “The thing is, we’ve never been able to afford them. When you look at the department needing personnel and equipment, namely cars, that became our priority.”

25 EPPD officers with the department’s DWI Task Force and Crisis Intervention Team will receive the cams. Allen said the next move is to finalize a system of policies for the department before the cameras become operational at the end of the year.

But the chief added in order to keep the cameras for the long run, it’s going to take dedicated funding from the city council.

“The problem with the cameras isn’t so much the camera itself, it’s the storage capability,” Allen said.

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