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Published On: Thu, Dec 22nd, 2016

Louisiana to become first state to issue body cameras to all state troopers

Louisiana will be the first state in the country to issue body cameras to all of their state troopers. Democrat governor John Bel Edwards and the head of Louisiana State Police, Col. Mike Edmonson, made the announcement Wednesday morning.

The plan to give every member of State Police a body camera will begin in January.

@LAStatePolice & @LouisianaGov announces LSP is working to buy 1500 body cameras for troopers, DPS officers @wdsupic.twitter.com/9xwtk7yvfD

— Kelsey Davis (@KelseyWDSU) December 21, 2016

photo Scott Davidson

“This full statewide deployment is the first of its kind in the country,” Gov. Edwards said during the news conference. “Nobody else has done what we’re announcing today.”

“This is exciting to me,” Edmonson said in support of the decision. “This is about transparency and accountability, and it’s great to be first.”

Earlier in 2016, Edwards signed a bill expanding hate crime laws to include police. Dubbed the “Blue Lives Matter” law, the bill made it a hate crime to specifically target police, firefighters and EMS personnel.

This was also the first of its kind.

Gov. Edwards is described as a strong advocate of police and the job they do to protect their communities.

Edmonson said the Louisiana initiative will cost $5.3 million over the life of a five-year contract with Scottsville, Ariz.-based Taser International (TASR), whose founder and chief executive Rick Smith also attended the news conference. The company’s stock hit a day’s high of $25.59 during the Wednesday news conference and was trading about 150% of its usual volume on NASDAQ; shares closed up 2.7% to $25.02.

“When people know they’re being recorded, everybody’s behavior improves,” Smith said.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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