St. Louis Board of Aldermen to discuss police body camera proposal

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - An initiative to provide free body cameras to all St. Louis City police officers for one year could get final approval Wednesday.

The three person Board of Estimate and Apportionment will meet at City Hall Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. to talk about and vote on the plan. One of the people on that board, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, is the one behind this whole effort. They are from Axon, a Phoenix-based company which is a leader in body camera technology.

Reed has been working on this deal for months.

Under this program, Axon would provide body cameras all St. Louis City police officers for a year free of charge. That`s more than 1,200 cameras. The data storage would be included.

The normal annual cost to equip a police department the size of st. Louis with axon body cameras is about one point two million dollars a year. If after a year St. Louis police and city leaders like the program then they could keep it and pay the $1.2 a year.

If they don`t like it, then they could cancel the program with no charge.

A select group of sergeants participated in a trial with the cameras back in December of 2015. But that is now over and we`re told at this point no city officers have body cameras.

Approval is not needed from the full board of alderman for this one year free pilot.

It needs yes votes from two of three people on the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. Besides Reed, Mayor Lyda Krewson and City Comptroller Darlene Green are also on that board.

The meeting is at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.