GREENE COUNTY, Mo. – Calls for body cameras for law enforcement continue after a controversy between the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and an illegal encampment bust on February 10.
Sheriff Arnott told KOLR10 reporters his deputies do not have body cameras.
KOLR10 spoke to Christie Love Thursday who is among those calling for cameras for law enforcement.
“Springfield Police has invested considerable funds into having body cams and to having dash cams,” Love said. “You know, I think that’s something Greene County needs to be looking at as well.”
Love says transparency is important.
“You know, to be able to say, well, can we look at that footage? Can we see that? I don’t think that that’s an unreasonable recommendation or request in our culture today.” Love said.
We checked in with multiple law enforcement agencies to see who has body cameras and who doesn’t.
Of the nine who responded, only four say they have cameras.
Those include the Webster County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Springfield, Branson, and Bolivar Police departments.
The other five KOLR10 reached out to, Sheriff’s offices in Greene, Christian, and Lawrence counties, plus police departments in Nixa and Ozark.
Lawrence County Sheriff Brad Delay says in his county, he doesn’t have body cameras.
“When the body cams first came out. It was one of those things where people were pushing them essentially because it seems like they didn’t trust the police.” Delay said. “We had never really had any issues with that here in Lawrence County.”
Sheriff Delay says a lack of cameras doesn’t mean a lack of transparency.
“I trust people that I hire the people that work for this office. I think they are some of the best out there,” Delay said. “If I don’t trust them and I can’t trust them, then they don’t need to be working here.”
Delay says funding is one of the many issues getting the technology.
“They are very expensive, but they are not cheap to operate. They are getting cheaper. There are different ways of using them,” Delay said. “The body cams, they could be used on cell phones or different types of things. Cost is definitely a major factor, especially when they first start up. It was thousands of dollars just to equip one officer with the body camera.”