Belmar, Stenger want dash and body cams for STL Co. officers -

Belmar, Stenger want dash and body cams for STL Co. officers

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For the first time in more than a decade, St. Louis County Police cars could soon have dash cameras.

St. Louis County Police Chief and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger say they’ve been trying to get the cars equipped with cameras for years. St. Louis County Police cars haven’t had dash cameras since the early 2000s.

Belmar says the passage of Prop P meant an influx of money for new technology.

“These camera systems are expensive to implement and maintain, but that was one of the tenets of Prop P. We feel like we owed that to the public,” said Belmar.

The plan also calls for body cameras. Instead of outfitting every officer with a body camera, Belmar said he’s in favor of a hybrid approach.

Under the proposal, 120 officers would get body cameras. Those officers such as SWAT would be those more likely to be involved in high-risk arrests.

Then, nearly every car would get a dash camera, which Belmar says often gives a better and wider view of the scene. Every officer will wear an audio recording device.

Belmar says he’s drafting rules and regulations for the cameras’ use.

Stenger and Belmar said they are seriously considering making the videos open to the public.

“As far as a one size fits all approach, I don’t think we are there when you consider the victim’s rights and investigations underway. I think we need to take those into strong consideration,” said Stenger.

Both officials did not discuss total cost, not wanting to tip off their hands to vendors in the bidding process.

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