Paducah Board of Commissioners to vote on police body cameras - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah Board of Commissioners to vote on police body cameras


The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for the purchase of 65 body camera units at their Tuesday meeting, Sept. 1.

The cameras will cost $105,540 and will come from Taser International.

Over the past several months, the board said the Paducah Police Department has been testing and reviewing body-worn cameras to answer questions about camera durability, capabilities and lifespan and technology concerns such as file storage, retrieval and retention.

They said the department has also been looking at policies regarding when the cameras would be used.

"It's a simple idea to put a body camera on an officer, but it has very complex ramifications," Police Chief Brandon Barnhill said.

The board said recent incidents about the use of force by police officers continue to attract national and international attention and have increased the discussion regarding the cameras.

Chief Barnhill said body-worn cameras can provide an officer's point of view, provide defense against false claims and protect the reputation of the professional officers.

He acknowledged that there are concerns including the possibility of a decrease in the willingness of citizens to talk to police if they are worried about being recorded.

"Relationships are key to the success in any community and in policing," Chief Barnhill said.

Chief Barnhill also provided some statistics about the Paducah Police Department.

He said only 1 percent of arrests in Paducah involve force. In 2014, the department had 2,516 arrests with 26 resulting in a use of force beyond routine handcuffing.

The Board of Commissioners will vote on the ordinance on Sept. 15.

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