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Southfield police begin patrols Monday equipped with body cams

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Southfield — The city's police officers Monday began using body cameras while on the job.

Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren announced the city's officers are now equipped with the devices at a news conference held at the department's offices.

Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren

"This product takes us one step closer to accountability and community trust," he said.

He referred to recent incidents involving Detroit police in which officers' body cam footage corroborated the department's account of the events.

"What if the Detroit Police Department didn't have body cameras that captured those incidents?" Barren asked. "I know the answer. And that's why it's very important for this department to make the investment, acquire the equipment and enhance community trust."

Barren said the department will spend $1.5 million on the Axon body cams over the next five years. Money for the equipment will come from forfeitures and the city's general fund, he said.

"It should have happened years ago, quite frankly," the chief said. "We're very excited about this day. The Southfield Police Department already has a great relationship with the community, but what better way to ... enhance community trust."

Southfield police officers begin Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, to wear body cams during their work.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez