KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With the help of community donors, the Kansas City Police Department will soon be purchasing body cameras for all officers.
The department said several business leaders have reached out, asking how they can help fund them recently.
Trying to get body cameras is nothing new for Kansas City police. Department and city leaders have said in the past they want to get them for all officers, but funding has been a struggle.
But the recent protests over the death of George Floyd and, more widely, police brutality have renewed conversations. Many feel it’s a critical step toward transparency and accountability for the department.
Now, with donations from the community, they’ll take that step.
“We have been listening to the community’s call for change,” Chief Rick Smith said in a statement. “The community has repeatedly asked for body cameras. I am pleased to announce that the DeBruce Foundation has donated enough money to allow us to begin to purchase these cameras.”
The DeBruce Foundation and the Police Foundation of Kansas City have secured the $2.5 million needed for the cameras.
KCPD has already updated in-car dash cameras and storage that’s compatible with a body camera system.
Now the department said they will work quickly to implement body cameras for officers.
Mayor Quinton Lucas called getting the cameras Step 1 on Wednesday. Step 2, he said, is making sure officers keep the cameras on, and Step 3 is making sure the footage is available for an investigation and people aren’t kept waiting.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.