Jun 9, 2022 - News

Des Moines animal control officers could start wearing body cams

Illustration of a police hat with a badge shaped like a video camera icon.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Des Moines animal control officers would wear body cams under a grant application making its way through the U.S. Department of Justice.

Why it matters: It's intended to improve evidence quality, which can help protect the public and police.

State of play: DSM's police officers have worn cameras for about six years.

  • The technology has proven to be crucial in maintaining public trust and transparency, according to a synopsis of the application submitted to the City Council last month by Police Chief Dana Wingert.

Details: The city would purchase 26 more cams under the grant application, with 17 used by animal control and the rest for officers who assist with public safety in the downtown entertainment district.

  • The grant would pay for half of the nearly $17,000 cost.

What they're saying: The grant is critical to help expand the department's cam program, Sgt. Paul Parizek told Axios Wednesday.

  • The U.S. DOJ will announce recipients in September.

Of note: Polk County sheriff’s deputies will begin wearing body cams in coming months.

  • It was one of the last metro law enforcement agencies to adopt them.

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