Opinion Columns & Blogs

City on right track on officer body cameras

The city of Wichita deserves praise for identifying Wednesday how it can pay for 444 body cameras, in the process affirming its recent commitment to equip all Wichita police officers with them by the end of 2015. As the announcement by Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley made clear, budget trade-offs will be needed to cover the $577,000 purchase and $350,000 in additional costs. It will take redirecting grant funds usually dedicated to buying Tasers and other equipment, as well as the use of money seized in drug cases. The department helicopter will be grounded for 2015, too – as officials consider whether there are more cost-effective options for air surveillance. But the city is right to make it a top priority to fully equip police officers with body cameras. Events around the country continue to underscore the increasing necessity of this investment, which promises to provide valuable evidence while boosting trust in law enforcement. – Rhonda Holman