The Jefferson City Police Department will not be receiving body cameras this year.
The city’s Public Safety Committee met Tuesday morning to discuss getting the department body cameras. Members of the committee determined there was not enough money in the budget to get them for the department.
Carlos Graham represents Jefferson City’s Fourth Ward on the city council. He said the Jefferson City community brought the issue to his attention.
“I was contacted, probably about two months ago, from some citizens in Jefferson City who had asked, ‘Why doesn’t the Jeff City police officers wear body cameras?’” Graham said. “And so, from that conversation, I took it to one of the committee members, and so I decided to make it an agenda item for [the] meeting.”
Many other police and sheriff’s departments already have their officers wear body cameras, such as the Columbia Police Department, Ashland Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Department and Cole County Sheriff’s Office. Graham said the cameras can help in any encounter.
“Certainly, it solidifies what the officer actually did, what [their] actions really were,” Graham said. “I think that body cameras serve two legitimate reasons. One is to protect the officer and protect the city, and then also, it protects the person which they are questioning or having a conversation with.
Graham said the committee is looking into other avenues for funding the cameras, such as grants or surplus sales taxes. He said he hopes to keep body cameras on the agenda for future Public Safety Commission meetings.