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"When an officer turns a corner and they see a person being shot or assaulted or stabbed, the last thing they should be worrying about is hitting a button," he said.
Along with the camera policy, Acevedo said he plans to change how the department handles officer-involved shootings and other criminal investigations of police.
Brenda Stardig, who chairs the City Council's public safety committee, said she's always favored body cameras but is concerned about the pricetag.
The council approved a .4 million contract with body-camera company Watchguard in November 2015.
"To me the relationship between a police department and a community starts with legitimacy," Acevedo told the Houston Chronicle this week.
He wants body cameras to start recording automatically when police officers exit their vehicles, and he plans to create a specialized unit this spring that will investigate officer-related shootings and alleged wrongdoing by police.
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"In a couple of shootings in Houston, we haven't had recordings because the police officer forgot to turn on the body cam," said James Matthew Douglas, the NAACP Houston president and also interim dean of Texas Southern University's law school.
Elizondo adjust their body cameras during an April 2016 news conference at HPD Central Patrol Station. About 200 officers received cameras, the ...
"Cameras and the way we investigate officer-involved shootings …
An official with the Houston Police Officers Union expressed tentative support for Acevedo's plan to establish a special investigations unit, so long as the department's top detectives are assigned to it.
"Any time our officers use deadly force, we want our best investigators on that case," said Joe Gamaldi, the group's second vice president.
The total cost for the 4,100 cameras - the first wave of which was deployed in April - is pegged at $8 million for the first five years, including expenses for data storage.