Here’s when local police departments began using body cameras

Overland Park police began wearing body cameras in the field in late 2019. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

Protesters gathering in cities around the United States are calling for law enforcement reform following the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last month. Among the items some demonstrators have been lobbying for is the increased use of police body cameras as well as policies requiring they be running whenever an officer is in the field.

Here is a summary of when police departments in northern Johnson County began deploying body cameras in the field.

Fairway

All officers started wearing cameras in 2009, Chief David Brown said.

Leawood

The department began deploying body cameras to most uniformed officers in 2015. Currently, there are 51 cameras in the field. Command staff do not wear body cameras.

Lenexa

Public relations officer Danny Chavez said cameras were deployed in 2009

Merriam

Chief Darren McLaughlin said body cameras were deployed in 2009.

Mission

Purchasing approval for body cameras was given in March 2015, Chief Ben Hadley said. By October 2015, the cameras were deployed in the field.

Overland Park

Public information officer John Lacy said body cameras were “fully implemented” on Nov. 18, 2019.

Prairie Village

All “operational officers” began wearing body cameras officially on April 1, 2020, Capt. Eric McCullough said. Detectives, motorcycle units and school resource officers began wearing body cameras sooner Cameras and microphones have been in “all marked vehicles for over 20 years,” McCullough said.

Roeland Park

Chief John Morris said body cameras and patrol car cameras were implemented in 2003.

Shawnee

Body cameras are a “a standard piece of equipment,” Major Jim Baker said. Utilization of the cameras began in 2017.

Westwood

Deployed body cameras on officers in 2015, Chief Greg O’Halloran said.

All departments are subject to the policies of disclosing footage from body cameras and other law enforcement recording devices like vehicle cameras or microphones as dictated by the Kansas Open Records Act. These records can also be obtained as criminal investigation evidence. People who are the subject or the guardian of the subject of a video can request access as well.