After a string of delays, Metro Nashville police officers will finally start wearing body cameras this fall. The department signed a contract Thursday and will begin rolling out the new technology as early as next month.
The announcement is a long time coming. Police departments across the country have implemented body cameras in recent years amid growing concerns about police misconduct, and local activists have been calling for body cameras since the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2014.
After two young black men were shot by police officers just over a year apart, those demands grew louder, but logistical issues and additional costs have kept getting in the way. Metro has estimated that the body camera program would cost about $40 million to deploy and millions more a year to maintain. It's unclear what the total price tag will be, or how long it will take for all 1,400 police officers to be outfitted.
The Washington Post reports that many smaller departments have already discontinued their programs, though, because of costs.
Mayor David Briley's office says Metro Police will start deploying the body cameras in late September or early October. Six officers and vehicles will be outfitted per day, starting with the department's FLEX units and the Juvenile Crime Task Force.
The police department did not respond to a request for comment.
Samantha Max is a Report for America corps member.