Voters could make decision on body cameras for St. Louis police - KMOV.com

Voters could make decision on body cameras for St. Louis police

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For months, citizens have been asking why it is taking so long for the city of St. Louis will implement a body camera program for its police officers.

The simple answer is there is no money for the cameras, but Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed said voters could decide on body cameras by August.

"For us as a region, it's a really important step for us," said Reed. "The nation is watching St. Louis."

The decision would be part of a large bond issue, costing over $170 million, which would also include funding for projects like improving roads and new fire trucks. The bond would devote $1.2 million for the body cameras, an amount which Reed does not think will make a big difference when discussing a $170 million bond issue.

"Don't you think and your viewers think that the President of the Board of Aldermen and other elected officials ought to have this conversation with the Police Officers' Association rather than musing about it in the news?" asked Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Roorda said the police's contract requires the use of body cameras to be negotiated, which has not yet happened.

"When they're being forced on the department and not being deployed in a smart way, you're going to have problems," said Roorda.

The negotiation between police and the city means the use of body cameras is not guaranteed.

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