Debate over police dash cams raised in Clark County

Debate over police dash cams raised in Clark County

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED Feb 17, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The attention placed on dash cams has intensified following a police beating caught-on-tape in Henderson. Now, county officials want to know why the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the state's largest local law enforcement agency, is not equipped with the same technology.

“It was simply atrocious, something that's not acceptable in any form or manner, and this is the type of thing that could eliminate that from happening, “said County Commissioner Steve Sisolak about the Henderson beating.

Metro said they've been considering the use of cameras for almost 8 years, but the steep price tag has been preventing them from moving forward.  Either option would cost the department about 10 million dollars.

The department is not only looking into dash cams, but also cameras that can be clipped on to police officer's. 

“The big overriding question is can we justify that to our taxpayers?” said Officer Bill Cassell, LVMPD. “Because, especially in these economic times, we have to be very conscious of the money we spend.”

Metro said they'll be evaluating the cost of installing cameras, but County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said he doesn’t about the cost; he wants them installed right now.

“I don't think money is the thing that should stop this from happening,” said Sisolak.  “We are in a crisis situation right now, I want to restore the confidence in the police departments and I also want to protect our officers because I think often times they're falsely accused, so I think we need to go both ways on this.”

Metro said they're going to be looking at seven or eight different options before deciding on which camera's to purchase, be it the dash cams, the body cams or a possibly a mix of both.

Commissioner Sisolak said he will do what he can to see these cameras purchased by 2013.