Fairfield will be the largest community in Butler County to have body cameras once the city purchases them this fall.
The cities of Hamilton and Middletown as well as West Chester Twp. are still researching using and purchasing body cameras, according to officials in those communities.
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Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey said the purchase was made because, “It’s just the wave of the future, and the future is now.”
City Council on Monday approved the purchase of a body camera for each of its officers from Arizona-based Axon. The five-year contract is for $212,160, with the first-year cost to the city being $54,444. The city will pay $32,429 annually for the remainder of the contract.
Fairfield police Lt. Steve Maynard said the department went with Axon because its camera is mounted “by a pretty powerful” magnet and its video storage and redaction systems was the best fit for the department.
Before deciding on Axon, the police department considered a dozen types of body cameras, then narrowed it down to six and then two. Maynard said the city is now completing its internal policy on the body cameras.
“Before they go live, we will have a policy in place,” he said.
It will take about 90 days from setting up the storage system, training the officers and other administrative duties before the cameras will be ready for use. The city already uses dashboard cameras in its police vehicles.
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The cameras will be phased into use, first with the police department’s third shift, then second shift and finally with its first shift, Dickey said.
The police department is a few officers short of its full staffing of 61 officers.