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Crime and Courts

Wichita Police Will Miss 2015 Body-Worn Camera Goal

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PATRICK T. FALLON BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
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The Wichita Police Department has announced it will not meet its year-end goal of equipping every field officer with a body-worn camera.

The city is waiting on $250,000 in matching funds from a federal grant that helps cities expand body camera programs.

“Once the funding is available, we can move forward with purchasing the remaining cameras,” Wichita Police Chief Nelson Mosley stated in a release.

To date, the city has purchased 212 body cameras, which are currently in use. The goal is 429 cameras.

City officials have been working to equip each of its officers with body cameras since August of last year, when a public forum entitled ‘No Ferguson Here’ was held. It was in response to rioting and protests in Ferguson, Mo, where a black teenager was killed by a white police officer.

City and community leaders sought to improve the relationship between area police officers and the residents they serve. An idea born from the meeting was to provide a body camera to every police officer working in the field.

The city agreed to look into the cost of purchasing hundreds of body cameras, as well as the technology to support them.

In July of this year, Wichita city council members unanimously approved a five-year, $2.2 million contract with Taser International to purchase over 350 cameras. The goal was to have them fully implemented by year’s end.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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