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St. Louis city police officers to start trial of body camera use

A St. Louis police sergeant looks over a body camera during a training session at police headquarters on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. St. Louis sergeants began a 90-day test of body cameras the following week. Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS • A two-part plan to dissolve the recorder of deeds office and use the savings to buy police body cameras will appear on the April 4 ballot.

The plan allows voters to amend the city charter to allow the assessor's office to absorb the recorder of deeds office.

Both Nasheed and Sinquefield believe the merger would free up roughly $1 million annually — enough to launch a citywide body camera program, according to their internal estimates.

To pass, 60 percent of city voters would have to vote for the plan. Next, the savings would have to be realized, and then the police department and the police union would have to agree to launch a body camera program before the city's roughly 800 uniformed patrol officers would start wearing them.

Organizers pushing the plan needed 20,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. They turned in more than 40,000 in August.

“I've been working for two years in the state Legislature trying to secure funding for police body cameras,” Nasheed said in a statement. “I look forward to passing this in April and making body cameras a reality.”

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Koran Addo is a reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch