SEDALIA, Mo. — The new Pettis County sheriff is pushing for dash cameras in all department cars. They got body cameras for the first-time last fall. Now Brad Anders says he hopes the cameras will help with transparency and evidence collection.
When Hannah Fizer was killed last June, there was no body or dash camera video. Anders said he has a goal to get a dash camera in every car.
“We’re short 11, and it’s going to cost around $67,000 to get those bought and installed for all 11,” Anders said.
But the sheriff said the investment is worth it.
“That [body camera] is going to catch the steering wheel. That’s not going to catch what I’m seeing on the road. Without that, you’re going to miss a lot of evidentiary material. You’re going to get to a point where you’re just talking about your own observations without anything to support,” Anders said.
It was evidentiary material that the county was missing in Fizer’s death. The 25-year-old was shot and killed by a Pettis County deputy in June 2020. The only video of the shooting was from a nearby business’s security camera.
“This is actually a tool, whether it’s a tool for the citizen so they can see what the officer saw, but it’s also a tool for the sheriff so they can see what they saw and the prosecutor in case there are charges filed,” Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick said.
Both Anders and Dick said former Sheriff Kevin Bond did a good job. It’s Anders approach that is different.
“It’s a huge change I think from where we were a year ago in the perception of the sheriff’s office. I think a lot of it has to do with the transparency, and people are seeing the professionalism of these deputies. They’re doing everything that can be expected and more,” Anders said.
“That different perspective is good, and it’s going to be good for the citizens of the county,” Dick said.
The department is hoping to find the money for the cameras through grants, along with money they can reallocate through their budget. They hope to have the cameras ready to go within the next year.