KCKPD Receives $842,000 in Federal Public Safety Technology Grants for Body Cameras

The Kansas City Kansas Police Department has been awarded two major grants by the Department of Justice to enhance crime fighting and public safety through technology. The grants will equip KCK Police Officers with body cameras and establish a network of real-time street cameras.

“These grants advance one of my top priorities: to give our police officers the tools they need to protect the public and themselves. The Unified Government has recently invested in a new fleet of police vehicles and has laid the foundation for using the latest technology to fight crime. This federal investment takes our community to a new level, bringing a 21st century approach to fighting crime while strengthening the trust between our community and our police,” said Mayor Holland.

Body Cameras
A grant of $342,000 will help the KCKPD meet its goal of equipping 228 officers with body-worn cameras. The Unified Government started the effort in 2016 by allocating $500,000 to build-out the fiber network which will be used to download and transmit the body camera video. In 2017, the UG Commission approved an additional $300,000 to begin purchasing the cameras. The federal grant will assist in the purchase of even more cameras.

“Body cameras are a great law enforcement tool that will aid us in capturing valuable evidence and they will help us to continue building trust and transparency with the community,” said Police Chief Terry Zeigler.

The KCKPD responded to 146,192 calls for service in 2016. Data from the International Association of Chiefs of Police show that 93% of alleged police conduct cases resulted in the officer being exonerated when body camera video had recorded the incident. 50% of complaints filed against police were immediately withdrawn when video from body cameras existed.

The Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department implemented the use of body cameras two years ago.

Street Camera Network and Community Connections Pilot
A grant for $499,402 will fund an expanded video camera network with software which integrates the video, allowing police to view activity and information in real time. The grant will allow up to 25 additional KCK intersections to be added to the network, with an emphasis on KCKPD priority areas.

The street camera network will help officers responding to incidents by giving them real-time video and information about what’s happening when a 911 call comes in. The grant also funds a pilot Community Connections program that gives businesses an option to connect their security cameras to the police network. “The implementation of these technology tools will provide KCKPD new capabilities to prevent and respond to crime,” said Unified Government Chief Knowledge Officer Alan Howze.

The expanded camera network is to expected to help reduce crime, help police solve homicides more quickly and provide a valuable tool in the investigation of drive-by shootings.