Body cameras to be offered to all Louisiana state troopers

Louisiana State Police officers will soon be equipped with body cameras.

"From an officer training, from an officer safety perspective, this is a home run," said Col. Mike Edmonson, Louisiana's police superintendent.

Louisiana's police superintendent told reporters Wednesday that roughly 700 state troopers will wear two cameras each while on duty.

Troopers patrolling in New Orleans will be the first to get the cameras in January. Officials expect to have the rest distributed by the summer.

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The public, media and courts will have access to the footage. Officials say they hope that will help improve transparency.

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As State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said in a statement, "Nothing is more important than the safety of the public we serve and the troopers committed to that service. We must ensure that we maintain transparency and accountability through proper training, sound procedures and the latest technology."

The decision to give troopers body cameras follows several high-profile police shootings in the state. In 2015, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis died after two marshals opened fire on his father's car. And in July, protests occurred after Baton Rouge police shot and killed 37-year-old Alton Sterling.

Less than two weeks later, a gunman ambushed several Baton Rouge officers, killing three and wounding three others.

The body camera initiative is expected to cost more than $5 million over the course of five years.