Renewed push to equip QPD officers with body cameras

"The last thing you want to have is an officer involved shooting or another type of use of deadly force and not have body camera footage."

That was what Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said last November predicting an outcome like Monday night.

Mayor Kyle Moore said the city has been looking into purchasing body cameras for over 2 years, but a decision has yet to be made.

"You don’t want to just invest money into a system that doesn’t work, that maybe doesn’t give the right perspective from the camera angle and also could lose functionality in different aspects of what a police officer does on a day to day basis." said Moore.

The chief points out Quincy lags behind many other area departments.

In fact, Hannibal Police have had body cameras since 2013, Palmyra since 2016, both Keokuk police and the Lee County sheriff’s office since 2017 and Canton’s police department upgraded existing body cameras just months ago.

Quincy Ward 2 Alderman Dave Bauer supports the purchase of body cameras, but he thinks two years of studying the issue is reasonable. 

"The more information you can give the police department. That will help them out." said Bauer.

Chief Copley quickly renewed his push for the cameras following Monday night’s shooting. Whether that prompts a sense of urgency will be up to the City Council.

"The city hasn’t done body cameras because of a lack of funding. That’s not the case. It’s because we want to make sure that when we invest tax dollars, we do it wisely and that the police department is getting the equipment they need." said Moore.

At the June 4th city council meeting, Mayor Moore said there will be a presentation on body cameras that they are looking at purchasing.

He said the total cost to equip every officer will be around $65,000 dollars.

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