Should Manchester police wear body cameras? If so, how much should it cost the taxpayers?

Those questions came up the other night at a city aldermanic meeting but were quickly squelched by Mayor Joyce Craig after Chief Carlo Capano said he is talking with two vendors about the cameras.

Alderman Keith Hirschmann had made a motion to support the cameras and refer the matter to committee regarding how to pay for them.

The mayor said this was premature and that a process is being followed. She may be correct; but that process should certainly include the aldermen at some point before they are presented with a take-it-or-leave-it proposal. It is they who represent the taxpayers.

The aldermen may have valuable input. Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur, for instance, wondered if the high price of the cameras could be offset by limiting their number, with only officers on certain beats and night shifts wearing them.

Again, Mayor Craig wasn’t having it. She said the chief should decide that matter.

Actually, both the cost (Chief Capano says it may be as much as $900,000) and the overall issue of police cameras are issues that should be considered not only by the chief, but by the police commission, and the mayor and aldermen.