Cops From Neigboring Counties Pool Their Money for Body Cameras

Evening Whirl


<whirl1>County Cops Pool Their Cash to Score Body Cameras

<whirl>Eight police departments in the county—Bellefontaine Neighbors, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Clayton, Moline Acres, Town and Country, Richmond Heights and UMSL—have pooled their cash together so that officers in those departments can be equipped with body cameras.

Consequently, it’s expected that police and resident interactions in those municipalities will be captured on video beginning in September.

The departments were able to buy the expensive body cameras after landing a $400,000 federal grant. The money will help pay to not only equip about 260 officers with body cameras but also store the video.

According to former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom, the Regional Justice Information System Commission, a government entity, will manage the video collected by the cameras from the eight police departments and could become the hub for body camera video storage for the region and the state. Isom is the director of REJIS.

Protests that followed the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson prompted many officials to tout body cameras as a way to reduce police use of force complaints and build trust.

Former President Barack Obama started the Task Force on 21st Century Policing program in 2015, in part to pay for body cameras. The Bureau of Justice Assistance has since awarded about $15 million to $20 million every year to departments seeking to equip officers with body cameras.

The collaborative nature of the application submitted by the eightdepartments in the county gave it an edge, said David Mueller, lead research analyst for REJIS.


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