The Kansas Senate is considering a bill that would require every law enforcement officer in Kansas to use a body camera while on duty. Activists lined up to tell a committee yesterday (THUR) that the cameras increase accountability, but critics question the costs for local police forces. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.
State Representative Gail Finney, a Wichita Democrat, believes using body cameras will help both sides, by aiding the investigation of police misconduct but also helping police fend off undue complaints.
“People want to know what’s happening, and if you don’t know what’s happening, it builds up distrust. If we had more transparency -I think the cameras would help provide some of that- I think it would make a big difference,” says Finney
Lenexa Police Major Dawn Layman says she supports the use of cameras, but they aren’t cheap. She had a camera clipped on her uniform while explaining that communities should decide when and how they use them.
“It shouldn't be a mandate that you have to have them by this certain date, because we’re going to get into issues that people aren’t prepared to store the information, to review it,” says Layman.
The hearing on the bill will continue next week.