St. Louis police officers will soon be outfitted with body cameras
By Brian Seay
Every officer in St. Louis could be a few months away from wearing body cameras after a contentious board meeting Wednesday saw unanimous approval to implement a free, one year trial of the devices.
Members of the St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment were, at times, shouting at crowd members who demanded the board approve the cameras, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
In April, Taser International changed its name to Axon and offered a free, one year body camera trial to every police officer in America. The city of St. Louis is taking them up on that offer while it works on a long term plan to deploy the cameras.
According to a trial agreement with Axon, the city will get as many as 1,300 cameras, the associated equipment, and all the necessary software and data storage the department will need for one year. After that, the city can return all of the equipment, or pay $1,000 a camera and keep using them. That comes out to $1.3 million a year.
Union leaders in the city have historically been opposed to body camera use. St. Louis Police Officers Association business manager Jeff Roorda said the union wanted “to make sure our