A few weeks ago the Fort Scott Police Department began wearing body-worn cameras.
“We upgraded to a system that has both body cameras and car cameras,” FSPD Chief Travis Shelton said. “We always had car cameras.”
“We budgeted for them, approximately $65,000, and received them about three weeks ago,” he said.
Each of the five FSPD officers will additionally have a spare camera for charging purposes, Shelton said.
The cameras were purchased to give several benefits to the police department, Shelton said.
“We can better document calls for service, there is officer accountability, better evidence collection, we can document crime scenes,” he said.
Shelton said body-worn cameras also:
- enhance officer and public safety,
- enhance officer ability to document and review statements and actions for internal reporting requirements for courtroom preparation,
- preserve video and audio information for current and future investigations,
- are an impartial measurement for self-critic and field evaluation during duties conducted by an officer,
- enhance public trust by presenting factual representations in the form of video/audio recordings.
In an emergency situation, when the patrolman turns on the car’s emergency lights, the body-worn camera automatically comes on, Officer Derick Burke said.
“It’s linked to the car camera,” Burke said.
The public may notice that some FSPD officers have beards, Shelton said.
In an effort to boost department morale, officers can grow beards this month, Shelton said.
“It’s ‘no-shave’ November at the Fort Scott Police Department,” he said.