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Louisville Metro Police Expanding Body Camera Program

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Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad says he hopes to have officers in the Second Division wearing body cameras by July 20.

The Second Division includes parts of south and west Louisville, including the Chickasaw and Park Du Valle neighborhoods.

The expansion comes a little more than a month after officers in the department's Fifth Division, which includes the Highlands, began wearing the cameras in a pilot program.

Conrad said the pilot program gave police staff time to address any small issues and ensure the program could run efficiently.

“There have been some good lessons learned, but they’ve been more so internal lessons than anything that would be visible to the people that we’re out there interacting with," he said.

He said he has been pleased with the cameras "so far."

Officers in the police First and Fourth Division will be next to get the cameras. The First Division includes downtown and the Russell and Phoenix Hill neighborhoods. The Fourth includes South Louisville and Old Louisville.

Officials have been working to get body cameras in Louisville since about 2012.

Last month, the Louisville  Metro Councilapproved spending $2.8 million on equipment, staff and other costs for the body cameras.

About $950,000 will come from the city’s general fund, about $900,000 will come from a short-term debt note, and about $900,000 will come from federal forfeiture funds, said Daniel Frockt, interim chief financial officer for Louisville Metro.

A bulk of the cost is related to data storage, police officials said.

Several Metro Council members, along with city and police officials, will host a public meeting on Tuesday to educate residents and address any concerns regarding the body camera program expansion.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Central High School.

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.