The acting chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is supporting the new body camera system coming to St. Louis and he wants long-term funding to support body cameras.
In the last few years, major cities like Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland rolled out the same type of system slated for St. Louis officers.
“This will begin to build and rebuild the trust so that we have we have the community and the department all working together,” said Lewis Reed, St. Louis Board of Alderman President.
Reed says St. Louis city officers will be wearing the same type of cameras used in other major cities. The camera system comes from a company called Axon.
Steve Tuttle, the company’s vice president of communications, spoke with 5 On Your Side about what officers can expect.
“What they're going to have is an Axon Body 2 camera. That's a camera that mounts on the chest and it'll have a magnetic mount that mounts to their vest their shirt and anywhere they want to put that on their body,” Tuttle said.
The camera will be able to record 12 hours of video. Officers will also receive a docking station that can upload the video automatically into cloud storage.
Video management systems, called Evidence.com, will allow the courts and police to access the video.
“What we're going to see is a better relationship between the police force and the community that they are working in and that's going to help us tremendously,” said Reed.
Cleveland police say citizen complaints dropped 40 percent in the first nine months of body camera use. Cameras are expected to roll out in St. Louis within three to six months according to Reed.
A statement from St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is below:
“After careful review of the department’s body camera pilot program, Chief O’Toole recognizes the value body cameras provide to modern day policing and therefore supports a program that included long-term funding, as well as administrative and legal support. When implementing this program, Chief O’Toole wants to ensure it is successful for the Metropolitan Police Department.”