Slow Roll Out for Albemarle County, Charlottesville Police Body Cameras

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Law enforcement agencies across the country are working to fit officers with body cameras, which some believe help between police and the community.

The Charlottesville, University of Virginia, and Albemarle County police departments have committed to installing police body cameras.

The UVA Police Department is the only one of the three to have an operational system for body cameras. The department announced back in September of 2015 that all 67 sworn law enforcement officers were fitted with Taser-brand cameras.

It was a two year process for the department, which included research, finding a camera company, testing, and drafting the body camera policy.

Albemarle County police say the process is currently on hold for them, mostly due to money issues.

“So the body-worn camera program is really expensive, and I mean I'm talking $100,000 just to equip the officers with the cameras here at the department. And with the budget the way it is, we just don't have the funding for the cameras, the storage, and also the support positions that are needed to fully implement that program," said Albemarle County Police Spokesperson Madeline Curott.

The county insists the body cameras will be installed, but because of budget concerns it is a question of when, not if.

Charlottesville police are saying that they are moving towards installing police worn body cameras. They blame the slow rollout on testing the equipment and continuing their best practices education. Five officers have cameras now and they will double that next week to continue testing the program. There was no time frame for when the program will fully go into effect.

The Harrisonburg Police Department and Greene County Sheriff's Office have also implemented the use of body cameras.

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