Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

No Body Cameras Required ; Amendment to Mandate Patrol Officers Be Outfitted Stopped

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

No Body Cameras Required ; Amendment to Mandate Patrol Officers Be Outfitted Stopped

Article excerpt

The Senate deflected maneuvering by a Wyandotte County lawmaker to breathe life into a mandate that patrol officers statewide be adorned with a body camera to capture on-the-job law enforcement activities.

Verbal crossfire on Sen. David Haley's amendment Thursday night with Republican Sens. Forrest Knox and Greg Smith was heavy enough to convince senators to -- figuratively -- reach for political body armor.

Haley, of Kansas City, Kan., said he wanted to place back in Senate Bill 18 the body-camera requirement to provide video protection of law enforcement agencies from bogus allegations and to deliver for Kansans a means of holding deputies and police officers accountable. Smith's committee had deleted the mandate from the bill.

The state's larger jurisdictions are at various stages of implementing programs to incorporate video technology, Haley said, but smaller jurisdictions may not be on board.

"I don't know about Bug Tussle," Haley said. "I don't know if Barney and Andy had the camera rolling."

Smith, an Overland Park Republican, said the amendment would be a gigantic unfunded state mandate on cities and counties. The cost of outfitting Kansas Highway Patrol troopers with body cameras was estimated to be $2.5 million, he said.

"Where in the world are we going to get $2.5 million?" Smith demanded. "How are the little guys going to pay for this?"

"I know we better look for it," Haley replied, before referring to racial violence after a police officer shot a man in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. "I imagine if Ferguson could go back and spend a couple million dollars in that city alone to extract the pall from the name of probably what was a good town, they'd gladly do it."

"This is a cost-waster," Smith said. "Law enforcement's not afraid of them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.