KCPD to outfit all officers with body cams

Officer Oasha White explains her body worn camera on January 13, 2021. Photo by Abby Hoover

The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) plans to order 475 additional body-worn cameras for its patrol officers, said Kansas City Police spokesman Sergeant Jacob Becchina at a Wednesday morning press conference outside of Police Headquarters. 

The police department, who currently has 340 patrol officers equipped with body cameras, would be able to outfit the entirety of its patrol divisions with the 475 additional cameras. Currently, patrol officers in the Central, North and Shoal Creek are equipped with body cameras, Becchina said.

“You have that third person that’s there,” Officer Oasha White said. “Usually it’s your side, the citizen’s side, and then you have the unknown, but now that we have the body cameras there with us all the time, there won’t be that unknown.

The Board of Police Commissioners approved the order for additional body cameras at its January 12 meeting. Becchina said the plan is to equip the remaining patrol officers in the next coming months with the entirety of the patrol officers having body cameras by March. 

Officer Oasha White displays her placement of the body worn camera on January 13, 2021. Photo by Abby Hoover

The policy for these cameras, such as what the considerations would be for releasing the videos and how the video would play into investigations, is still being drafted. Input from monthly meetings with public community groups and federal and county prosecutors is helping to decide the policy for these cameras, Becchina said.

“We didn’t want to wait for a policy,” Becchina said. “When we started getting body-worn cameras, we deployed them out into the street.” 

Becchina said the goal is to have the policy presented at next month’s board meeting for their approval, although he said it may not be officially approved for a while. 

“They may send it back. They may want to change it… that is very common,” Becchina said. “The good news is for years we have had dash cameras in our police cars… so we’re not reinventing the wheel here.”

Officer Oasha White explains her patrol car’s camera system on January 13, 2021. Photo by Abby Hoover

The cameras come on when the lights or sirens of a police cruiser turn on, otherwise patrol officers are responsible for turning that camera on when they have contact with a citizen or call for service, Becchina said.

The Panasonic-brand body cameras cost between $700 and $800 each. The police department currently stores one year’s worth of video, although that could be subject to change depending on how much footage is collected daily, Becchina said. Video used in an investigation is stored for as long as it is needed.

Becchina said the request for officers to have body cameras has been in the works dating back to a few years ago, but funding had been an issue.

In June, The DeBruce Foundation donated $1 million for the purchase of body cameras and raised an additional $1.5 million from community partners, business leaders and philanthropists.

“The public called for officers to have body cameras long before this summer, but especially this summer and going forward, they have called for them,” Becchina said. “We’re responsible to be accountable to the public.”

The department addressed the incorporation of body cameras after Fourth District City Council Member Eric Bunch Tweeted Tuesday, “The City has received multiple grants to purchase body cameras yet Chief Smith is still “looking into it.’”

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Two dead after alleged rolling gun battle ends in fiery crash

    March 1st, 2021
    by

    At approximately 5 p.m. this afternoon, Kansas City, Mo., police officers were called to the area of Anderson and Norton […]


    Ribbon Cut at new Fresh Market at Indep/Prospect

    February 28th, 2021
    by

    The ribbon was cut at The Avenues newest grocery store, the new Fresh Market El Mercado Fresco at 2620 Independence […]


    Northeast groups host meet and greet with new City Manager

    February 26th, 2021
    by

    Residents of Northeast had the opportunity to meet Kansas City’s new city manager Brian Platt in a virtual event hosted […]


    Fresh Market donates $30,000 in food to Northeast organizations

    February 25th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover and Nikki Lansford Fresh Market – Mercado Fresco, the newest addition to the Independence Avenue business community, […]


    Stray bullet from overnight gun battle causes gas leak at Indep/Benton Blvds.

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Independence Avenue is closed at Benton Boulevard this morning. Sources say that a rolling gun battle that occurred overnight in […]


    Kansas City T-Bones rebranded to honor historic Negro League Kansas City Monarchs

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant One of Kansas City’s most noteworthy sports teams is heading to the field once more. President […]


    ‘Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence’ now streaming

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Last week, the long anticipated documentary on the life story of Healing House founder Bobbi Jo […]


    MAKING OUR MUSEUM

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Sponsored ContentNortheast News Over the next seven months, The Northeast News and the Kansas City Museum are collaborating on a […]


  • Storytelling on the Streetcar: Celebrating Black Culture

    February 23rd, 2021
    by

    On Friday, February 26 at 7 p.m., Kansas City is virtually invited to join KC Streetcar’s Third Annual Black History […]


    City provides options for warrants, fines

    February 22nd, 2021
    by

    The Kansas City Municipal Court and City Prosecutor’s Office are working together to host #ResolveIt, a special campaign from now through […]


    Missouri expands eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine

    February 18th, 2021
    by

    As of Thursday, Feb. 18, Missouri opened vaccination eligibility to Phase 1A, Phase 1B – Tier 1 and Tier 2. […]


    Northeast partners to host meet-and-greet with new city manager

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant Residents will have an opportunity to meet Kansas City’s new city manager Brian Platt in a […]


    Apartment fire displaces Northeast tenants

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Residents of more than a dozen apartments at 504 and 506 Gladstone Blvd. were left out […]


    City considers annual budget proposal

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The City of Kansas City, Mo., has begun discussion on its next annual budget. The preliminary […]


    Kansas City Public Library receives grants for youth, technology programs

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Kansas City Public Library has recently been awarded two grants, one that will bring a Mobile […]


    Weather impacts City services

    February 16th, 2021
    by

    Due to frigid temperatures, road conditions and crews’ safety, Kansas City, Mo., residents should expect delays with trash and recycling this […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.