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Bellevue Police to launch $4.6M body camera program by March

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(The Center Square) – The Bellevue Police Department over the next few months is set to implement body-worn cameras and upgrade its tasers as part of an effort to improve police transparency.

In September, the Bellevue City Council authorized a five-year purchasing agreement with Axon and approved a purchase order with Sourcewell for a total of $4.6 million. The purchase includes hardware, software, and one-time implementation hardware installation.

Professional services included with the agreement total $113,816 and annual maintenance costs total $864,913, plus all applicable taxes.

Purchases include body-worn cameras, tasers and a software system for the department’s interview room and digital evidence.

“The Bellevue Police Department remains steadfast in its commitment to utilizing technology that fosters public safety, transparency and trust within the community,” Bellevue Police Chief Wendell Shirley said in a statement.

Officers are being trained this month with the new “Taser 10” tasers, which have more than twice the range of tasers currently being carried by officers.

The Bellevue Police Department anticipates adding more than 200 Taser 10s to patrol officers’ equipment resources by the end of February.

According to a press release, a select group of patrol officers will be field-testing the body cameras in early February and the cameras will be implemented among the full team of patrol officers by the end of March.

“The implementation of AXON Body 4 body cameras and Taser 10 tasers underscores our dedication to providing top-tier service and maintaining the highest standards of professionalism,” Shirley said.

Some of the funds for the body-worn cameras and tasers stem from contributions made by the Bellevue Police Foundation, according to the city.

The project accomplishes the Bellevue City Council’s 2020 pledge to review and reform police use of force policies, including a recommendation to consider outfitting officers with body-worn cameras.

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