St. Louis County on Wednesday announced that it issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to equip the county’s police officers and patrol cars with cameras with the funds allocated from Proposition P.
Proposition P is a half-cent sales tax that’s expected to generate $80 million a year for public safety. It was passed in April 2017 with sixty-three percent of St. Louis County voters voting in favor of the tax.
“The goal of the camera program is to ensure officer accountability and build trust with the citizens of St. Louis County,” County Executive Steve Stenger said.
In addition to body cameras, the county’s portion of Prop P is funding numerous initiatives, including:
- Hiring more police officers
- Improving police pay
- Mobilizing more two-officer cars
- Expanding officer training on topics such as peaceful conflict resolution.
“Thanks to the voters, we were able to increase police salaries to make the St. Louis County Police Department competitive with some of the largest suburban agencies in the region,” Stenger said in a written statement. “And now our department will have a state-of-the-art body camera system that will greatly benefit our officers and the citizens they serve.”
St. Louis County Police Department would provide dash cameras to the patrol division made up of approximately 350 marked patrol cars and provide approximately 120 body cameras to the Department’s units providing specialized services such as SWAT, Highway Safety, and Light Rail Patrol Services.
St. Louis County Police will install dash cams in the majority of patrol cars while body cams will be placed strategically among individual officers.
“We are working on the most efficient ways to equip our officers with camera systems and through the RFP process we expect to find a company that’s a good fit for our needs,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. “Parties interested in bidding on the body camera contract are required to include a description of software, data storage capabilities and video quality.”
According to Belmar, through Proposition P funds he has hired approximately 40 additional law enforcement officers, with the goal of increasing our organization’s manpower by 114 officers.
County Executive Stenger said additional announcements would be forthcoming as steps are taken in each of the areas identified in the Proposition P initiative.
“We are proceeding with plans for all the measures that were identified for use by Prop P funds,” he said.
St. Louis County has approximately one million residents located west of St. Louis and is comprised of 524 square miles. St. Louis County Police Department provides the primary patrol services to just over 400,000 residents while providing secondary patrol, infrastructure, and technical assistance to the entire county. The infrastructure and technical assistance takes the form of emergency operations, SWAT units, dispatching, homicide investigations, and operating a police academy.
View the RFP here: Body and Dash Camera RFP.