Money from red light camera tickets fund body cams for Kent PD officers

KENT, Wash. -- Starting today (Oct. 1), police officers in Kent will have a new tool as they hit the streets - body cameras.

Kent's police chief says they'll be activating more than 100 body cameras that officers will wear on the front of their uniforms to record interactions with the public.

"For me, it’s kind of a game-changer on two fronts," Kent Mayor Dana Ralph said. "It protects our public because it records the interactions that are happening, but it also protects our police officers because it records the interactions that are happening."

The police chief says one reason many cities shy away from body cameras is the time-consuming public disclosure requests from the public.

The body camera program will cost the city about $1.6 million a year, and it'll be paid for by the city's red light cameras that were just installed at six intersections in the city.

Drivers caught running red lights at those six intersections pay $136 per infraction. The red light cameras are expected to bring in up to $2 million a year.