Body cameras may be slow in coming to St. Louis County Police -

Body cameras may be slow in coming to St. Louis County Police

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By Stephanie Baumer By Stephanie Baumer

( – The St. Louis County officials said they are in no rush to outfit all of the county’s police officers with body cameras.

Currently, some St. Louis County officers wear body cameras as part of a testing program that has been in place since October.

“It’s starting to become a little more routing, second nature to have it with us and to use it,” said St. Louis County officer Stephen Owens.

Not all 550 officers and sergeants on the street wear cameras. In recent years, the department said it stopped using the limited number of dashboard cameras it had because they fell into disrepair.

“They wore out and we had a difficult time with replacement schedules,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.

Belmar said the department is looking body cameras from three companies, but also said cost is a concern.

“I think we owe it to our community to take a hard look at this, but we also owe it to the community when we look at the $2.9 million price tag,” Belmar said.

Officials said cost is not their only concern. New St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said there is a concern about privacy.

“We have issues with an officer showing up at a home in response to a call and all of a sudden you have footage of an individual’s home. Is that public or private?” Stenger said.

County officials also said they looking to lawmakers in Jefferson City to solve some of the privacy issues that may come with body cameras.

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