ALBUQUERQUE — County officials in New Mexico have approved an agreement with a software company to procure body-worn cameras and vehicle recording units for about 200 sheriff deputies.
The Bernalillo County Commission on Tuesday granted County Manager Julie Morgas Baca the authority to execute the $3.1 million five-year deal with Utility Associates Inc., the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The first order for the body-worn cameras could be placed within a week. Deputy County Manager Lisa Sedillo-White said the county could see the contract as early as Friday.
The Bernalillo County sheriff’s office originally proposed a deal that would have cost twice as much, but would have outfitted officers in the field, in administrative services and at headquarters.
Morgas Baca said the previous deal exceeded the county's budget and recommended outfitting officers in the field first and then gradually buying more equipment when financially feasible.
There are currently 203 people assigned to field services and 15 additional vacant positions, officials said.
“The goal is ultimately to get every certified deputy who’s going to have any interaction with the community to have one of those cameras, but we’re going to take whatever we can get right now to make sure we’re doing everything right,” sheriff's office spokeswoman Jayme Fuller said.
Some county commissioners and residents had previously asked for the equipment.
The cameras are required for all law enforcement officers “who routinely interact with the public” under a state law passed in June.