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Columbia Police department buys body cameras for all officers

The Columbia Police department has purchased 102 body cameras that will be given to all uniformed officers.

The Axon body cameras will hold police officers and citizens accountable plus the assist the courts when it comes to justice.

The cameras are placed on the officers chest and record while they are responding to calls.

Columbia police officer, Spirit Stevens, has been testing out the cameras for almost a year.

“I think they help increase officers accountability and my hope is that citizens recognizing that they are being recorded while they are dealing with the police will help them deal a little bit better,” said Police Chief Ken Burton.

The cameras are easy to operate with a battery life of 12 hours.

Patrol, street crimes, traffic and student resource officers will all be required to wear these cameras.

“There is a lot going on at the scene and so it’s easy for me to log onto evidence dot com and i am able to and i am able to look at everything that was there again, kind of refresh my memory,” said Officer Stevens. is the system the police department will now use with these cameras to manage, store and access video.

The storage alone costs $40,000 a year. It also costs $110,000 to buy all the cameras.

The $100,000 came from the 2012 budget when the city manager asked the police department to reduce its budget.

Then in 2013 the city gave the department half of that money back for a one time purchase.

The Columbia Police Department is the first agency in the mid west to do a full implementation of body worn cameras.

Police Chief Burton said the use of these cameras will soon become the norm across the country.

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