Five companies submit proposals for Tampa police body cameras

Published Dec. 2, 2014

TAMPA — Five companies have offered to sell body-mounted digital cameras to the Tampa Police Department in response to a request for proposals that the department made last month.

The city revealed the companies' names Monday, but details of the proposals will likely not be made public until a Police Department committee makes a selection. The decision is expected in the next few weeks.

Mediasolv Solutions Corp., Digital Ally Inc., L3 Communications, Reveal Media and Taser International submitted proposals for the cameras. The department plans to initially purchase 60 cameras, with the goal of eventually providing them to all 750 officers who patrol the city.

The cameras, which cost between $400 and $1,000 each, will record officers' interactions with people. Officers will clip the devices to part of their uniforms and wear them throughout their patrol shifts.

In its request, the department outlined a series of requirements for the cameras. Among them are that they be easily activated in stressful situations, have the capacity to be reviewed in a patrol vehicle, and be easily mounted to the outermost portion of an officer's uniform. Officers will also be incapable of editing or deleting recordings.

A department committee will review the five proposals, then submit a written recommendation to the city's purchasing department. The City Council will make the decision.

Police hope to begin using the cameras by Jan. 1.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide have begun using the cameras in recent years. Proponents say they promote accountability and increase resident safety. Critics have expressed concerns about privacy and the need for rules about how long recordings can be retained.