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Jasper county law enforcement sales tax grants help small police - KOAM TV 7

Jasper county law enforcement sales tax grants help small police departments buy body cameras

Updated:
    Three small Jasper county police departments can now afford body cameras for officers.

     The money will come from the Jasper county law enforcement sale tax. County commissioners approved expenditures on Tuesday giving Webb City, Duquesne and Carl Junction the funds they need to buy the body camera technology.  A move Joplin is making too with its own funds.

Joplin currently has officers testing body cameras before buying.

It's technology the much smaller Carl Junction police department can now  afford with a more than thirty thousand dollar law enforcement sales tax grant.

Chief Delmar Haase says that will get the department, "three car cameras and eight body cams. We have twelve officers. What I wanted  to do is have enough if we have an emergency, people called out,  we have people working another and  still have them where they are charged and ready to go for the next shift."

As in Joplin, body cameras would be used when officers make contact with the public: from car stops to investigations. Chief Haase says they've been proven effective at  protecting the public and officers.

Haase says, "An agency across the state I know of, its chief talked to me and the  use of force by officers and assaults on officers were cut by two thirds the first year they had body cameras."

Carl Junction officer Dustin Jensen believes body cameras,  "Keep tempers from  flaring,  keep our cool, keep others people's cool.

Keep people from acting out,  knowing that they're on cameras also."

The chief says another benefit is the  body cameras his department will buy can be synced to cameras in cars.

Haase says, "If lights and sirens are on  inthe in the it will link and turn the body camera  on automatically. So in an emergency situation, the officer  doesn't have to be  worried about turning that stuff on.  It's already working."

And Officer Brian Rogers with the Joplin police department knows first hand the difference  having video can make after he was the subject of a use of force complaint.

Rogers says, "When the department investigated the citizen's  complaint,  they were able to use the camera (video) and determine  that the actions I was accused of did not take place."

And video can work for citizens too.

Officer Rogers shows a body camera's display and says it shows, "time and date of the stop as well as the officers id number."

Haase says, "This stuff is tamper proof. Officers can't change  it. Can't do anything with it. They bring it.  It's dumped in the server and it's retrieved when we need it."

The Carl Junction department plans to keep video for thirty  days unless it is the subject of a complaint or needed as evidence.

Carl Junction's complete grant award was $32,895.00.

Other awards granted for a total of $207,115.97 from the law enforcement sales tax fund are as follows:

Carterville $21,060

Carthage $24,118.09

Duenweg $7,030.37

Duquesne $15,939.48

Jasper county juvenile  $7,922.05

Jasper $28,669.64

Oronogo $23,838.66

Sarcoxie  $10,283.56

Webb City $35,359.12
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