Joining a number of major U.S. cities to adopt the use of such cameras for their police departments, Miami Beach recognizes the important benefits of using the body
camera program, not only for police, but also for additional city departments. Wearable cameras will provide additional security and protection for both city employees and the community.
“There is greater accountability to the residents and visitors to this community when they are interacting; whether it’s with law enforcement or parking officials or building inspectors,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales.
Miami Beach City Commission approved the purchase of wearable body cameras for use by police, code enforcement, parking enforcement, building inspectors and fire inspectors. The City will budget approximately $3 million dollars to purchase cameras over the next five years.
Miami Beach Police Department will receive the initial 50 to 60 cameras with parking, code, fire and building departments each receiving five cameras. There will be a three-to-six month period for evaluation of the cameras followed by an 18-to-24 month rollout of additional cameras for city departments.
Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates said, “Used properly, these cameras will document and capture critical evidence to put bad guys in jail and help protect the city in litigation.”
Miami Beach will utilize two different styles of wearable cameras manufactured by the company Taser. Miami Beach Police will use the Taser Axon Flex, a camera with multiple mounting options to include eyeglasses, ball caps and collars. The camera will capture video from the officer’s point of view, which may not always be face-to-face interactions. Other departments will utilize the Taser Axon body camera, which is rectangular and clips or mounts to the front of the shirt or chest.