CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The Cedar Falls Police Department raised $30,000 in less than two months to equip the rest of its officers with body cameras.
The department originally purchased a small number of the cameras with plans to share them between different shifts. But that was proving impractical, according to The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/2cKkZlh ).
With officers trying to share them, the cameras weren’t always fully charged and operational problems might not be promptly detected.
Assistant Police Chief Craig Berte said more cameras are also needed for special events.
The budget for the department did not include funding for more cameras, but officers felt they were urgently needed and did not want to wait until the beginning of the next fiscal year to buy them.
A $1,000 donation from the Cedar Falls Order of Eastern Star recently pushed the department over the total needed. Jody Connor with the Eastern Star group said they raised the money by selling funnel cakes and pork sandwiches at local events.
“This year with the issues police, race and shootings … this touched our hearts,” Connor said.
The cameras serve to protect both the officers and the public by recording what happens during arrests. Berte said the cameras the department already bought have helped determine that some complaints against officers were unfounded.
Other area law enforcement departments have already equipped their officers with body cameras.
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com