Boonville police will soon wear body cameras

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BOONVILLE - The Boonville Police Board began discussing different types of body cameras Monday.

Before the meeting, Boonville Police Chief Bobby Welliver said the department applied for a grant to fund the cameras in late July. Welliver said with or without grant money, the department will equip its 17 patrol officers with body cameras.

Cities such as Columbia, Ferguson and Auxvasse have implemented camera use in the past few months.

In July, Columbia Police Officer Ryan Terranova told KOMU 8 News the cameras help him while he's working.

"It helps with report writing, something that I might have forgot I saw or heard, I can go back and watch my video that same night," said Terranova. "It makes the officer better, it's training all the time."

Dan Clark has been living in Columbia since 1975. He said he thinks the body cameras are a great idea.

"I think it's just a great idea to document what they see. Super evedentiary value later and I think it's great for their protection," Clark said. "I think if someone knows that a police officer has a camera, they might be a little better behaved."Franczhesca Martinez said on the KOMU 8 News website she supports the implementation.

Franczhesca Martinez said on the KOMU 8 News website she thinks the cameras will help monitor police misbehavior.

"Unfortunately, officers have been known to take advantage of the fact that they're more credible than suspects and their accounts of what they witnessed are taken at face value, even when sometimes they're lying," said Martinez. "This will change that."

Monday's meeting marked the start of a multiple week testing period before the board chooses the best type of to camera to buy.

Robert Barnes disagrees with Martinez and Clark.

"One more thing to hinder the officer's work in my opinion when a split second timing is needed," Barnes wrote on the KOMU 8 News website.

Welliver his officers have already started testing one brand of cameras, which has received positive feedback.

The board will make a decision on what brand of camera to use in November. 

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