In a letter to City Manager Ed Zuercher, Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Thelda Williams call for body cameras on all Phoenix Police Officers.

Here is the letter in full:

Phoenix is fortunate to have one of the very best police departments in the nation. Our officers serve the community each and every day, working tirelessly to make sure Phoenix is safe for every resident. And as policymakers, our highest priority is providing our officers with the resources they need to do their jobs effectively and safely so they return home at the end of each shift.

Last year, the City Council approved a plan to hire 300 new officers over the next three years to ensure that there are enough officers to safely patrol our vast city. Manpower, though, is not the only resource our Police Department needs; it needs the right equipment as well.

Through a pilot program in target areas of the Maryvale Precinct made possible with funds from the federal government’s SMART Policing Initiative, the Police Department has experienced first-hand the benefits of body-worn cameras for patrol officers.

With body cameras in use, the target areas saw a significant decrease in complaints against officers, more effective processing of cases in court and improved evidence in the prosecution of domestic violence cases.

Chief Joe Yahner summed it up best: Body-worn cameras are good for both officers and the community they serve.

A wealth of research and experiences from other law enforcement agencies back up our own: Body-worn cameras are a tool to reduce police use of force, better resolve citizen complaints, and promote stronger relations between our officers and the community.

We believe it is time to equip every Phoenix patrol officer with a body-worn camera. We ask that the FY 2017 budget begin to provide the resources necessary for every patrol officer to have a body-worn camera in the next three years.

This move is an important next step in maintaining the absolute best Police Department and in keeping with our charge to provide the best possible services for every resident.