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Commissioners Approve Budget Transfer to Fund Lapel Cameras

07/01/2020

Bernalillo County commissioners have voted to appropriate $1 million in funding for the purchase, support services, subscriptions, and infrastructure for body-worn cameras for the Sheriff’s Department.

The $1 million was approved in 2019 through an administrative resolution in a reserve fund balance. The current action appropriates that funding so that it can be budgeted and used.

Additionally, two resolutions sponsored by commissioners Debbie O’Malley and Steven Michael Quezada were approved supporting the pending legislation before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, requiring all law enforcement officers in New Mexico, who routinely interact with the public while on duty, to wear a video recording device, commonly referred to as a lapel camera.

“The County Commission has been urging and requesting the use of body cameras by the Sheriff’s Department for several years,” says Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. “Now, the governor has the opportunity to make it law.”

“This is about protecting the rights of our citizens and saving the careers of our deputies,” adds Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada.

Accompanying the $1 million in general funds is $500,000 in recurring yearly monies, previously approved by the commission.

If signed by the governor, the new legislation will take effect in 90-days.

The funding approval was approved by the county commission on a 5 to 0 vote.

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