Stanford discusses body cams for officers
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2022
STANFORD – Body cameras on police officers are nothing new but it would be new to the Stanford Police Department (SPD), if approved by city council members. A representative from Motorola Solutions, which sells body-worn cameras for police officers, is expected to speak to the Stanford City Council during the regular Oct. meeting.
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The council heard a brief overview from SPD Captain Ryan Kirkpatrick during the Sept. 8 meeting.
“This is something we’ve been looking at for a while,”Kirkpatrick said. “What we’re seeing right now is a great big push from the Department of Justice, surrounding agencies, surrounding counties, state, federal and local government that body cameras are a big issue.”
Kirkpatrick said since so many other agencies are wearing body cams now, it would benefit SPD to also record their interactions.
“If agencies we interact with on a daily basis are going to be recording their perspective of an incident, I think it’s only appropriate that we record our incident, our perspective,” he said. “If we get into an incident, a use of force incident…the state has allotted $16 million for Kentucky State Police to get in-car cameras and body cameras…so if we get into an incident on U.S. 27, a trooper pulls up and all you see is a Stanford Police Officer and a suspect on the ground…”
Without cameras on Stanford officers, part of the incident is missing, he said.
“That goes to court and that’s all you’re going to see,” Kirkpatrick said. “Whereas, if our officers were equipped with those cameras, we’d be able to back it up and you’d see the first 10 minutes that led up to that incident of the officer and the suspect rolling on the ground.”
Body cameras bring a more positive perception to the police, he said.
“For our department, I think you all know very well this is not about policing officers, this is about showing our side of the story and holding everyone accountable, our officers, our public, everyone” he said.
Kirkpatrick also discussed a proposed contract for the body cameras.
“It’s a five-year contract. In those five years, it’s $53,000,” he said. “…in 36 months, they come in, they take every piece of equipment that they sold us, they take it out of the building and they give us brand new stuff for the remaining two years of our contract.”
Kirkpatrick said the department wants to have body cameras on every officer, including School Resource Officers and patrolmen.
The contract includes unlimited storage of evidence, he added.
“With that being said, juvenile protection is astronomical. We’re going to see things, we’re going to hear things, private things that aren’t meant to be exploited all over the internet. That stuff needs to be stored securely. Not only is it unlimited storage, that security, that anti-hacking, all that stuff that goes with it, that doesn’t rest on our shoulders,” he said. “We’re pretty much paying them to take the burden off of us and hand us new equipment every 36 months.”
More information will be provided during the Oct. meeting, Kirkpatrick said.
“The mayor talked about a grant. We are also in the process with the Department of Justice for getting a grant,” he said.
The department expects to hear whether they will receive the grant or not in November.
“We’re doing our best on our end to approach this situation to make it feasible for everyone,” he said.
Mayor Dalton Miller said if the city spends at least $6,000 on body cameras, the Kentucky League of Cities will grant the city $3,000.
Miller said he has a lot of questions he plans to ask the representative next month.