Cost of Archiving Police Body Cam Footage for Year: Over $500K

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County Council members are weighing the cost of policing for the next fiscal year, and among the expenses: storing hours of police body camera footage.

The county’s police department started a pilot program to test the wearable cameras in 2015. Since then, the body cameras have been adopted as a standard piece of police equipment.

A result: The department has had to find a means of archiving the hours of images; and the cost in fiscal year 2018 is budgeted at more than $500,000. (The proposed operating budget for the department comes in at over $274 million.)

“It comes with a hefty pricetag, but it’s certainly worth it when it comes to making sure that we’ve got even more information available to the greater public,” said County Council member Craig Rice, the former chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee.

The full council will vote on the budget in late May. The start of the fiscal year is July 1.

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