Perryville PD approved for body cameras to protect and serve - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perryville PD approved for body cameras to protect and serve

PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - There's been a lot of talk about body cameras used by police in the wake of the shooting and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The latest high tech tool is already fighting crime in Perry County, Missouri.

Now, the city of Perryville, Missouri will follow.   

The city council approved the funding to provide the police department with the cameras. They should arrive within a few weeks. 

Already, Sheriff Gary Schaaf has put the cameras to use for his department thanks to a private donation from a citizen two months ago. It all came about after the unrest in Ferguson. 

Heartland News got an inside look at how the cameras work. We agreed to not reveal specifics about the cases since they are still in court or under investigation. However, the Sheriff said the cases are proof the cameras are working. 

"The video is high quality," said Sheriff Schaaf. "In one case a traffic spot turned into much more when the deputy discovered the suspect turned out to be a part of a biker gang. He is a felon and he had a gun on him." 

"The cameras are just able to capture so much more," said Deputy Blane Kohm. 

"We've had numerous success stories," said Sheriff Schaaf. 

Next the police department will get cameras, hopefully for all 16 officers. 

"It's only natural that the cameras and technology become part of crime fighting as well," said Chief Direk Hunt. "We're encouraged by what we've seen the county be able to do and also other departments." 

The cameras are on order and should arrive in a few weeks. 

Chief Hunt said the next step will be to put computers in every patrol car.

Meanwhile, another $5,000 donation came in on Wednesday, Oct. 29 to help provide for the cameras. 

Law enforcement on all sides feel it's a tool that will help solve case, protect the public and the officers.  

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