Wentzville police explain how body cameras have changed relation - KMOV.com

Wentzville police explain how body cameras have changed relationships with citizens

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A body camera (KMOV) A body camera (KMOV)
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Police officers in St. Louis will soon begin a trial run of body cameras, but the Wentzville Police Department has been using body cameras on all their officers in the field for the last five years.

Lt. Emmanuel Borroum developed the body camera program in 2012 for the Wentzville Police Department and said they have made their body cameras standard issue, meaning all newly hired police officers are given their cameras, along with their badges, a weapon and suit. Borroum says officers have really embraced the cameras since they got them, 

"If there's an issue and their cameras are down, they do not want to go into the field. That's how much they trust their camera to protect them," said Borroum. 

Lt. Borroum says since his officers have been outfitted with body cameras, the biggest change has been in improving relationships in the field between police and citizens, something he thinks will be an even larger impact in the city of St. Louis.

"People are going to be more courteous. They are going to be more mindful of what they say before they say it, rather than just saying it. I think that will smooth over or de-escalate many interactions between citizens and police officers," said Borroum.

Last week at St. Louis City Hall, a committee board approved a body camera test run for a year for free. Wentzville body cameras are the same ones SLMPD will use during the test run, provided by the Axon company. 

Unlike in St. Louis, Wentzville Police Department has not had any officer-involved shootings since 2012, when they got the cameras. However, WPD feels they are better prepared to handle that day when it comes.

"I think we feel secure that we will have multiple angles or views of an incident if a shooting incident occurred," said Borroum. 

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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