Contract approved for body cameras for Nevada Highway Patrol troopers

CARSON CITY — Nevada Highway Patrol troopers will soon wear body cameras to record their interactions with the public with the approval Tuesday of a $1.25 million five-year contract to purchase and operate the devices for its uniformed officers.

The Board of Examiners, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, approved the contract between the state Department of Public Safety and TASER International. The cameras cost $1,414 each.

The cameras are required as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 111 during the 2015 legislative session sought by state Sens. Aaron Ford and Kelvin Atkinson, both Democrats from Southern Nevada.

The board was told the cameras should be fully operational on all troopers by the summer.

Col. Dennis Osborn, chief of the highway patrol, said body cameras will be an enhancement to dashboard cameras now in place on patrol vehicles. The two cameras will work in concert to provide a complete picture of an incident, he said.

About 600 cameras will be provided as part of the contract, along with data storage.

Ford sought a body camera bill after numerous officer-involved shootings nationally drew widespread attention in 2015. He said in his initial testimony that the bill was not a criticism of Nevada law enforcement officials, but instead a way to provide important evidence in cases of police shootings.

Contact Sean Whaley at Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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