The Lansing Police Department announced today it will begin a body camera pilot program.
Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski says the department has been considering body cameras since 2013.
"Our decision for LPD to implement our body-worn cameras was not taken lightly," Yankowski said. "Mayor Virg Bernero has been very supportive of making sure that the men and women of the Lansing Police Department have the latest technology and training."
Yankowski says 14 officers will test three different models of cameras for 30 to 60 days. Each officer will try each model of camera.
The cameras the officers will test are made by L3, Taser and Digital Alley. L3 is the same company that provides the department with its in-car cameras. Taser uses a cloud storage system. Digital Alley is used by other Lansing-area police departments.
Yankowski says the department has $75,000 secured for the body cameras. The department is also applying for two grants. The number of cameras bought will depend on whether the department is awarded the grants.
Yankowski says officers will be required to wear the body cameras except when there is an expectation of privacy. Some examples include speaking to a sexual assault survivor, or when an officer is taking a break.
Yankowski says citizens need to understand the body cameras are meant to protect everyone.
"It will not only increase the behavior of all players involved, it will provide an evidence base for prosecution and ensure public safety," Yankowski said.
The Lansing Police Department has used car cameras since 2001.