Is cost an impediment to body cameras for some local police depa - KMOV.com

Is cost an impediment to body cameras for some local police departments?

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Some local police departments have said storage costs may be an impediment to acquiring and using police cameras.

Many say that police body cameras will hold officers accountable and reduce the number of use of force complaints. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar has previously said the department would carefully think through all of its options before deciding whether to buy body cameras.

“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 a $2.9 million price tag,” Belmar said.

Residents told News 4 cameras should be a top priority for police.

“I don't see it can't come from somewhere, grants, funding, etc. I think that's just an excuse to not have them,” said resident Jacqueline Patterson.

The US Department of Justice recently announced it is offering $20 million in grants to 50 police departments to help them implement body cameras.

With news of the funding, St. Louis County officials said they will discuss the topic at an upcoming meeting. St. Charles County said it would be interested in getting funding help, and Normandy told News 4 it is already looking into how to apply for a grant.

DOJ said the grants only go towards buying the cameras and training. Storage costs will fall on each individual department, which could leave a funding gap.

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