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Kirksville council approves purchase of body cameras for KPD

Monday night, Kirksville City Council members were asked to authorize the city manager to execute an agreement to purchase body worn cameras. (KTVO/File)

A small piece of technology could soon play a key role in the day-to-day work of Kirksville police officers.

Monday night, Kirksville City Council members were asked to authorize the city manager to execute an agreement to purchase body worn cameras.

That agreement is with Axon Enterprises, Inc.

This is the same company that is currently used by the Adair County Sheriff's Office for its body cameras.

According to city documents, in 2014, the police department began to have formal discussions with city staffers to implement the use of the cameras.

In the years since, a literature review which includes the best practices and polices/procedures was developed.

Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes says the department is ready to begin using the technology.

He says the body cameras will help make officers and the department even more transparent.

"This is just one more tool that will let the community know that we are comfortable with what we do and we are very open about what goes right and unfortunately, what goes wrong. This is an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak."

The price-tag on the cameras is $13,323 per year for five years.

That pricing includes the purchase of the cameras, supporting software, cloud based data storage and a five year warranty.

Hughes says he hopes to have the cameras and begin training on the technology by the end of January.

In other council news, the 2018 operating budget for the City of Kirksville was approved on its first reading.

The budget for this year totals a little over $38 million.

Key aspects of the budget include: replacing the downtown water tower (ATSU water tower) and a complete reconstruction of Illinois Street.

The city also has plans to begin work on the construction of a new aquatic center.

Council members will review the budget again in the coming weeks.

The budget is expected to be officially adopted on its second reading on December 18.

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