Rochester police move forward with purchase of body cameras without tender

Rochester police may soon have body cameras, similar to the WatchGuard model shown in this courtesy image, as part of the bureau’s efforts to increase transparency for the public.

ROCHESTER — As an added level of responsibility, the city’s police may soon be equipped with dash cams and body cameras.

Gary Boudreau, Rochester Police Chief asked the city council for a waiver of the tendering process for the purchase of the equipment. Initially, the police presented the council with a $150,000 proposal for the project. Of that amount, $125,000 was listed as an upfront fee, with an annual fee of $40,000 for licenses and software.

The council approved the waiver after hearing the chief’s explanation.

Boudreau said that after determining that most companies used a five-year contract, with subscription fees, requiring $15,000 upfront and a $50,000 subscription fee, police reconsidered. the need for a tendering process. Indeed, they’ve had on-board cameras for over a decade already, through WatchGuard, the same company that supplies equipment to the Strafford County Sheriff’s Department.

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The proposal now aims for body cameras to be compatible with cruise cameras. So they want to stay with WatchGuard instead of making a bid, at a total cost of $254,000, using $150,000 from existing capital improvement program funds.

Sixty cameras will be purchased. The department has 63 sworn officer positions, not all of which are filled at this time. Boudreau said 50 cameras would cover frontline officers. Using WatchGuard as a contractor means the company is responsible for repairs and replacement if needed, the chief said.

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Boudreau said the department supports the use of body cameras, as a way to protect both officers and citizens by monitoring behavior. He said using the equipment tends to reduce complaints.

This article originally appeared on Fosters Daily Democrat: Rochester NH police get body cameras

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