Kennett gets police car cameras

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - Police take an oath to protect you and your loved ones but doing so takes a lot of money and manpower that some towns just don't have.

Now a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation is allowing one city in Region Eight to do a little more.

"This was paid for all by MODOT's money.  It didn't cost the city a dime," said Kennett Police Chief Barry Tate.

A $10,000 grant has allowed the Kennett Police Department to purchase two cameras for their cars.

"If we can just get them in our main cars that are on the road 24-7 we'll be in great shape," said Tate.

The Kennett Police Department has 12 cars on the road full time.  They hope to get cameras in four or five of their cruisers.

"They know you're going to have them on camera and it will be harder for them to say, 'I didn't do it'," said Kennett patrolman Philip Caldwell.

Cameras can be used in everything from a random traffic stop to a fight.

"If we go to pull somebody over or respond to a call with our lights and sirens going the camera automatically records," said Caldwell.

"You pull up on it and you can solve it like that.  Your stories are right there on film for you," said Tate.

The cameras take some of the guesswork out of so-called "he said-she said" incidents.

"They tell one side of the story and we have our report this will clarify who is telling the truth here," said Tate.

"The way they're going to help me in court say for a DWI with claims of field sobriety and how they respond to your test," said Caldwell.

Officers hope the addition of the cameras can help them to deter crime from every happening.

"It could be a tool for the suspect, it could be a tool for the police officer," said Tate.

The cameras will also help by giving officers a second set of eyes while on patrol.

"We feel like we're getting up with the 21st century and getting the equipment that we deserve and need," said Tate.

The KPD will also be getting four new police cars this fall.  Tate said he would like to get mobile computers for their officers in the future.

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