Cleaver secures grant money for police body cameras

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Congressman Emanuel Cleaver made big announcement that could change the way police conduct business.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver announced Tuesday morning that he has secured a $22.5 million grant to pay for police body cameras.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver announced Tuesday that he has secured a $22.5 million grant to pay for police body cameras.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver announced Tuesday that he has secured a $22.5 million grant to pay for police body cameras.

Kansas City Police cruisers and Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy vehicles are already equipped with cameras, but soon, so could the officers.

The funding has already been secured, so now local law enforcement agencies can compete for some of that money.

Kansas City Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff's Department are at the top of that list.

Cleaver wrote a letter to President Obama earlier this year asking him to promote funding for body cameras for police officers. The letter came in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. and the allegations of police misconduct across the country. Cleaver said this will benefit police as well as the public.

"We're talking about the burdens and the blessings of these cameras," Cleaver said. "We're trying desperately to make sure that we equip the police with what they need and at the same time, that we don't create problems. And I think that the only way to do that is that you listen to the people who will be charge of the people making decisions every day."

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp brought up the point of how body cameras can affect personal privacy.

"If somebody breaks into your house, and you're the victim of a crime, and my deputy's got a body camera on, and it's supposed to stay on all the time, and now I'm walking through your house... and I'm videotaping everything in your house," Sharp said. "Do you want that to be released to the public?"

Cleaver said he believes the justice department will move quickly in deciding who gets some of the grant money. That means that metro police departments and sheriff's deputies could be wearing body cameras in the next year.