South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
The Kansas City Police Department should finish deploying over 800 body cameras to uniformed officers in all its patrol divisions and in its tactical and traffic units by April 16, Police Chief Rick Smith said at the April 12 meeting of the South Kansas City Alliance.
“This is a win-win. Everyone seems happy,” Smith said, noting that the cameras had been requested by members of the public and by police officers. Phased deployment of the cameras and training in their use began in late 2020 and has continued until now. The Central, North and Shoal Creek Divisions were the first to be equipped with the cameras.
He said KCPD’s policy requires the cameras to be turned on whenever officers have contact with the public except for specified exemptions.
Funds to purchase the cameras were donated last year by the DeBruce Foundation in cooperation with the Police Foundation of Kansas City. The Department currently is seeking federal funding to purchase cameras for its investigative personnel as well.