The Mandan Police Department will apply for a grant to offset the costs of body cameras after receiving approval from the city commission.
The department's request was part of the consent agenda at Tuesday's commission meeting. The commission approved it unanimously with no discussion.
The police department, which does not currently use body cameras, received a quote for the equipment from Digital-Ally, which already provides the department with cameras inside police vehicles. A memo from the police to the commission said that using the same company for both cameras would allow for better integration. The total package includes 28 body cameras, upgraded in-car cameras, accessories, set-up, training and cloud storage for a five-year subscription. The package would cost $182,449.
A grant from the U.S. Department of Justice would offset the cost of the cameras. The police department is asking for $36,918 in grant funding, which would bring the total cost down to $145,531, paid over the course of five years, according to the memo.
Deputy Chief Lori Flaten told the Tribune that the department wants to use body cameras because they would be a "great addition" to the in-car cameras already in use. Having the cameras just in vehicles is limiting, and adding more cameras would help both the police and the public, she said.
The Morton County Sheriff's Office began looking into body cameras in 2018, and the Lincoln Police Department began using them in early 2020. The Bismarck Police Department and the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department do not use the technology.
Reach Sam Nelson at 701-250-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.