Kansas City police have body cameras, more are coming

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — All patrol officers in Kansas City are expected to be equipped with body worn cameras by March, police officials said Wednesday.

Currently, 340 patrol officers are using the cameras, and another 475 cameras will be ordered soon, police spokesman Sgt. Jacob Becchina said.

Community leaders have pushed for years for police to have body worn cameras, contending it would increase police accountability. Those calls grew louder after social justice demonstrations during the summer.

The Board of Police Commissioners’ on Tuesday approved buying the additional cameras.

“The body worn camera system was something that our community asked for,” Becchina said. “It was something we heard them over and over again saying they wanted. It was a priority for us. We just lacked a funding source.”

In June, Kansas City received a $1 million donation from the DeBruce Foundation, and another $1.5 million from other groups to fund a body camera program.

Policies for how the videos will be stored and used, and for such things as when the cameras should be turned on, are being drafted now. The policies are expected to be presented to the board of police commissioners next month, Becchina said, The Kansas City Star reported.