Poplar Bluff police turn on new body cameras - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff police turn on new body cameras

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

Following the events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, many police departments are opting for cameras to record their every move.

Poplar Bluff police officers started wearing Taser Axon body cameras on Thursday, Jan. 1.

When the ball dropped, the first camera was turned on.

Officers went through a 10-day period of training to prepare for the change.

Sgt. Keith Hefner said it's a great addition to the force.

"I think statistics show that you're recorded on average of three times a day anyway, whether you know it or not," he said. "At least this gives us the benefit and the ability to have footage from start to finish, not just experts, so we have an accurate recollection of everything from beginning to end."

Every officer is assigned a body camera.

"I think it's going to be a great asset for us to streamline things as far as getting evidence into the hands of the city or state prosecutor," Sgt. Hefner said. "We can send them a link to the online evidence storage and they basically have access at that point. We decide if they get to view it or download it or share it, so we still have control over it. It's still secure, but it definitely streamlines as far as burning a copy and sending it over. As well as other officers being able to build a case with two or three points of view."

At the end of their 12-hour shift, the camera is put back in a dock where the footage is automatically downloaded.

All of that footage is stored online until the statute of limitations on that type of case expires.

The city council approved money to buy a body camera for every officer.

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