Arlington Police Chief Requests Body Cameras

Arlington Chief of Police Will Johnson is asking for money to fund a pilot program that will outfit his officers with body cameras.

Johnson said he knows cost is a factor — outfitting all of his 600 officers with cameras would cost up to $5 million — so he requested $50,000 to buy 50 body cameras to use for a 6-month trial period.

Johnson said they need a test period with a limited number of cameras in order to practice managing the video files and coming up with a plan for privacy concerns.

After the recent fatal shooting of 19-year-old Christian Taylor at a car dealership, which no cameras captured, many area religious leaders and the Arlington chapter of the NAACP said the city must find the money in the upcoming budget to outfit every officer with a body camera.

"Body cameras should be a priority this year," NAACP Arlington President Alisa Simmons said. "It's something that benefits both the officers and citizens. It's an absolutely necessary cost."

Johnson asked for the cameras days before Taylor, who was unarmed, was shot and killed.

NAACP officials said they will press city council members on the issue at Tuesday's budget meeting.

"It's an important meeting for all the citizens of Arlington," Simmons said. "Anyone who has input should be here tonight, NAACP member or not."

"Of course you have to look at the city's budget, and I would ask they look at how other cities have funded body cameras, how they have been able to pay for them for their citizens," Simmons added.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith and Julie Fine contributed to this report.

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