The Coon Rapids Police Department signed a five-year contract with Watchguard Video Inc. for body-worn cameras.

The Coon Rapids City Council unanimously approved the measure July 6. The total cost for the cameras for five years is $385,600 — $136,540 is paid up front, and a $49,812 subscription fee is paid each year.

The Police Department expects to have the cameras by Oct. 1.

The department has had cameras in squads since 2009. It has used WatchGuard in squads since 2018.

The WatchGuard system was installed in 2018 with the intent to incorporate body-worn cameras when the department had the means to do so, Chief Brad Wise said.

The department saw three bids for body-worn cameras this year, but continuing with WatchGuard made the most sense, Capt. Bill Steiner told the council June 15.

“We’re happy with the system we have,” Steiner said.

The department has been discussing the need for body-worn cameras for years, but due to budgeting restraints, nothing came of it until now.

The city used funds from the federal coronavirus relief act for some police-related budgeting. Now there’s extra money from last year’s police budget to spend on the cameras.

The body-worn cameras are necessary for officers, Steiner said.

“I think current events speak for themselves as far as the need and desire to have these,” he said.

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