An hourlong copy of Las Vegas police body-camera footage will cost the public $280 starting next month, a fee that far outpaces other local law enforcement agencies in Nevada.
The new rate is almost six times greater than what the Metropolitan Police Department charged when it launched its body-camera program in 2014. The department raised its rate from an initial $48-per-hour fee to $192 per hour last July.
The fee is based on the total length of a video, not how long it takes detectives to edit out confidential information, a process known as redaction. For example, a half-hour-long video would cost $140 under the new rate, no matter how few redactions were made.
Police officials say the increase is necessary to recoup the costs of redaction, but open-government advocates slammed the costs as prohibitive and possibly illegal under state law.
“The whole purpose of the body cam is for the public to see the footage,” said Frank LoMonte, director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. “Once you start putting hundreds of dollars of fees on top of it, it ceases to be accessible.” (Read more)