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Palm Beach Gardens to fund police body cameras

Posted at 12:13 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2019-03-07 10:14:15-05

UPDATE: The Palm Beach Gardens City Council passed a resolution Thursday night with a 5-0 vote to fund police body cameras.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

The Palm Beach Gardens City Council will vote Thursday night whether to spend $262,000 to start a body camera program for police officers.

The item is on the council agenda and comes as a result of meetings between Corey Jones supporters and Palm Beach Gardens city leaders.

"With our negotiations, they expedited it because they saw the need that it was important not only for them but for the community to have some type of closure," community organizer Derrick McCray said.

Jones, who was waiting for a tow truck, was shot and killed by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens Officer.

The State Attorney is still investigating and has yet to decide whether to charge the officer, Nouman Raja.

Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Joseph Russo says the Chief of Police will also discuss police changes on Thursday night.

"A quarter of a million dollars a year is nothing to spend for people to know they are safe in our city," Russo said.

Russo doesn't believe there will be any opposition from other council members about the cameras.

"I want this to be a model for other cities. We had the disaster. And if you asked me two years ago if this needed to be done I probably wouldn't have said we had to do it. Because there isn't a cultural divide in our city. We are one city. But I learned this could happen anywhere," Russo said.

The policy changes that will be discussed will have to do with plainclothes officers and the way they are allowed to interact with the public.

Under a new policy, the plainclothes officers will have to wait for a marked unit before approaching someone unless there are extenuating circumstances.