KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen Independent School District Police officers will soon wear body cameras.
KISD Board of Trustees approved buying them for $24,000. KISD Police Chief Ralph Disher said body cameras will provide transparency for officers.
At a school board meeting on Nov. 16, Disher said KISD officers already have dash cameras in their vehicles, but over the last couple of years, he and Superintendent Dr. John Craft have been talking about getting officers body cameras.
Disher told the board that the biggest need for body cameras is for video that can be used as evidence. He said not having body cameras when the incident first take place, hurts the investigation.
“Two examples would be the Maude Moore Wood fire we had. We did get a confession from the individual who started it, but we got push back from the prosecutor’s office on not having video of the confession,” said Disher. “And then the stabbing we had earlier this year at Shoemaker, if we had an officer with the body cam footage on, we would have got to see the real time of what actually did happen as to what was pushed out on social media, or what kids had on their cameras."
Disher said the body cameras gives him a chance to better train officers. He also said having the camera on reduces complaints and provides accountability.
The board unanimously approved body cameras for 27 officers. Three more will be added once the new Chapparal High school opens in the fall.
The body cameras would only be worn during incident related calls, such as responding to a fight or an interaction with a student who needs to report something.
Chief Disher said all KISD police officers are on board with transitioning to body cameras.