Colonial Heights to buy 16 Tasers with cameras - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Colonial Heights to buy 16 Tasers with cameras

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COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) -

The devices can clearly capture criminal acts, or abuses of civil rights. Now under a proposed five-year program, Colonial Heights Police hope to have 16 Tasers equipped with cameras, helping officers to collect evidence while protecting suspects' rights.

Police confirmed Thursday the Department already has two Tasers with cameras, both of them in Colonial Heights schools.

The devices are handled by resource officers at Colonial Heights Middle School and Colonial Heights High School. Officials said the guns have not been used since they were purchased under a year ago.

According to the City's five-year capital program, police requested four of the next-generation stun guns for the 2013 / 2014 fiscal year. Each device has a price tag of $1,200, and costs $100 annually to maintain and operate.

The remaining 12 Tasers in the plan will be purchased through fiscal year 2018.

A summary from the City's capital program says Tasers with cameras "enable documentation of any criminal and/or high-liability issues; part of [a] long-term program to eventually provide all patrol officers with their own unit."

A listing for the latest units from TASER International's law enforcement online store says the cameras begin recording when the gun's safety switch is moved to the armed position.

The devices can now record video in high definition, and can protect officers from false complaints. Video from the stun guns can also be used as evidence, or hold officers accountable if arrest procedures are violated.

The purchases for the next five years are proposed, and must be approved by the City Council. Public comments will be heard at the next Council meeting Tuesday, April 9, 2013, at 7:00 P.M.

The meeting will be held in Council Chambers of City Hall, 201 James Avenue.

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