Louisiana will become the first state to equip every trooper with a body camera, The USA Today Network of Louisiana reports.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and State Police Col. Mike Edmonson announced the rollout during the governor’s end of the year press conference today, calling the deployment the “first-of-its-kind in the country.”
“Nobody else has done what we’re announcing today,” Edwards says.
The decision to equip all 700 troopers with body cameras comes after a summer of unrest in Baton Rouge, where the killing of Alton Sterling by police generated massive protests, which was followed by the murder of three policemen and wounding of three more by a lone gunman.
“This is about transparency and accountability, and it’s great to be first,” Edwards says.
The initiative will cost $5.3 million over the life of a five-year contract with TASER, whose founder and chief executive Rick Smith also attended the press conference.
Edmonson says troopers in his New Orleans unit will receive the cameras first in January with full deployment throughout the state by summer.