The mayors of three of Iowa’s largest cities say they’re searching for the money to buy body cameras for police officers. Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh says, “We actually started to investigate that well over two years ago, prior to the most recent instances that have happened throughout the country. We think juries will come to expect that type of evidence in a trial, so we think it’s probably the wave of the future.”
Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie says cameras in Des Moines Police patrol cars have “gone a long ways” in helping prove cases in court and equipping Des Moines cops with body cameras is being given “strong consideration.” “Which would be helpful in conversation between the officer, substantiate what was said, how it was reacted to by the offender or the accused offender and could help make the case one way or the other,” Cownie says. “and protect both public safety and the individual.”
The mayors made their comments during a joint appearance this weekend on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program. Iowa City plans to have its police equipped with body cameras before this fall. A few departments in Iowa have been using body cameras. A main expense is not the camera itself, but finding a way to store all the video that’s recorded.