Lots of cameras coming to watch over KCK

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The police chief says new technology is going to make the streets safer for people in Wyandotte County.

Chief Terry Ziegler says a federal grant will put a lot of cameras watching over KCK’s streets.

According to the Chief, $842,000 in federal money will outfit KCK police with body cameras and build a network of real-time street cameras at busy intersections.

“The citizens act better because they know they are being recorded and the officers act better,” Ziegler said. “I think you have better interaction with the body cameras.”

When combined with $300,000 the Unified Government is already spending for body cameras, police officers working on patrol, traffic, community policing and special operations all will be wearing body cameras while interacting with the public.

Supporters say body cameras put both police and citizens on their best behavior.

“With the climate in the nation right now the way it is, with the good and the bad if you will, I think it will add another layer of transparency,” said Paul Soptick, president of Wyandotte Countians Against Crime. “It’s going to be a level of protection for not only the citizens but the police department as a whole.”

Police also are getting nearly $500,000 to establish a network of 25 street cameras to provide real-time video to officers of a particular location when a 911 call is received.

The goal is to eventually allow citizens to connect their home security cameras to the police network.

The chief says he expects the city to begin purchasing cameras next spring.

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