Fort Smith directors OK $1.8M for police body cameras, equipment–Funds coming from Civil Asset Forfeiture

Funding for the cameras will come from the Federal and State Asset Forfeiture fund balances, Walker said. The department will take $203,300 from the Federal Seized and Forfeited Property Balance, leaving $41,300. It will take the other $200,000 from the State Drug Asset Forfeiture Balance, leaving $34,700.

Walker said the reserve funds are not listed in the budget, though she plans on noting what is available in the city’s various reserves in the 2019 one, but must be run through the general fund due to its status as an operating fund. The purchase will show up on the financial documents as a revenue and expenditure, giving a “net zero impact.”

“This is a great use of this asset forfeiture funds,” Ward 3 Director Mike Lorenz said. “This is stuff that’s been obtained during seizures and criminal activity. This makes much more sense to put these cameras on officers than letting this money sit in a savings account somewhere. I think it’ll protect the citizens and the officers.”