SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Nationwide, calls for accountability in law enforcement are growing louder. Here in Sioux City, the police department is one step closer to outfitting their officers with body cameras.
The department is wanting to purchase 120 cameras. This will be a price tag that is around $260,000. This has been an ongoing discussion for the department and it’s gaining momentum because of citizen support.
“We want justice, we want fairness, and we want accountability,” said Ike Rayford the NAACP Sioux City Chapter President.
Community voices are being heard loud and clear by the Sioux City Police Department as they move forward with equipping officers with body cameras.
“Public interest is high for this, and public support is high so one being NAACP this is one of those things that we’ve wanted for a long time, so we’re very excited to see that we are moving forward with this initiative,” said Rayford.
“The council and the mayor have been supportive. We’ve been supportive, but the element that we’ve missed is the public saying that they want this and we now have that public support that allows us to move forward,” said Chief of Police Rex Mueller, with the Sioux City Police Department.
The proposal for the cameras is still in the early stages.
“There’s still a lot of questions out there, how are we going to store, how were going to redact this stuff how were going to make it available to the public what the cost of that will be. there are an awful lot of questions that are not being answered today,” said Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott.
As well as questions around how the department is paying for the cameras, city leaders say they will look for grants. However, right now they are considering red light and speed camera money.
“I don’t think there are any grants at this point in time probably if I have a say it’s in the camera money we have access camera money and that’s what it’s supposed to be used for public safety,” said Scott.
Although there is still a lot of uncertainty around the cameras, one thing that is crystal clear is the Sioux City Police department’s eagerness to build a stronger department.
“These officers know that the body cameras will give an unbiased look at their activity and will show their training and professionalism, so they’re excited to have them,” said Mueller.
The proposal will be brought to City Council Monday, August 3rd. If the proposal passes, Rex Mueller said he hopes to have a system in place by late fall.