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IMPD to start testing body cameras this month

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 2, 2014)-- If you're pulled over in Indianapolis, there's a good chance your stop could be recorded by a camera the officer is wearing.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) will start a body-camera pilot program on Dec. 15.

"This is a pack that plugs into the camera and will hold a 12-hour charge," explains Deputy Chief Brian Mahone.

At least 12 body cameras will be worn by IMPD officers in the traffic division. IMPD has researched the technology for the last year.

"We want to start off with limited tests, traffic stops, weather, lighting, there are still some legal issues we have to address," said Mahone.

But who will pay for them?

The cameras cost around $1,000 apiece, and storing the data for evidence costs even more.

The project could cost at least $2 million to outfit each officer with a body camera and for data storage.

"If Ferguson does anything along the lines of this conversation, it may move that technology faster into police departments' hands. This will not only help us hold officers accountable, it will help us exonerate officers when people give fictitious statements, and it will also help us with training," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

On Monday, President Obama announced a plan for 50,000 new body cameras for police. It's unknown at this point if Indianapolis will get the grant money. IMPD is moving ahead with their plans independently.

IMPD is using the same body cameras worn by Bloomington, Evansville, and Greenfield police.

Riggs eventually wants firefighters and EMS responders to wear body cameras as well.