CHESTERFIELD, MO - Police officers in Chesterfield have a new technological tool to help them protect and serve.
The department began training officers last week on new body cameras, made possible through a pilot program by the company Axon.
The primary objectives of the cameras are to promote transparency and accountability, Captain Ed Nestor said.
“Transparency, which the public is demanding, and we’re happy to provide it,” he said. “And it’s a tool for management, it’s a tool for the officers to use to protect themselves.”
Unlike other pilot programs, this one allows nearly every officer to use a body camera. The department, which employs 99 commissioned officers, received 85 cameras.
The cameras are free of charge for the duration of the program. At the conclusion of the test run, the department will decide whether it wants to stay with the cameras long term. The charge varies but could range anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 depending on the number of cameras, the models, etc.
Nestor said the cameras provided an extra set of eyes to improve the quality of service.
“It’ll just be another tool, like everything else we have on our belt,” he said.