Ten body cameras donated to West Liberty Police Department

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WEST LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - The West Liberty Police Department now has new body cameras. The department says it needed these cameras, but was struggling to find ways to afford them.

Not enough money is a hurdle that some smaller cities in Iowa deal with.

The Tomah Police Department donated 10 body cameras to West Liberty. Tomah is about an hour and a half east of Madison, Wisconsin. One lieutenant saw KCRG-TV9's original story and decided to help out.

The cameras being donated are a newer model than the ones West Liberty has now. They also give a better panoramic view.

Tomah upgraded their body cameras and had extra ones available to donate.

West Liberty received the donated cameras on Friday. Chief Kary Kinmonth hopes they last the department a couple of years. He says small-town police departments work together to help each other in need.

That's a benefit to the officers and taxpayers.

"When your budget is really tight and nickels and dimes, everything is down to your last nickel and dime and you want to be good stewards of your taxpayer monies. In a case like this we saved our city $7,000 by having a good relationship with another agency," said Chief Kinmnoth.

Tomah Lieutenant Scott Holum saw TV-9’s story about West Liberty struggling to afford body cameras. He got clearance from the chief to make the donation.

"The smaller you get, the more constrained it is,” said Holum. “So any time you get an opportunity to help out another department, it's good for everybody."

West Liberty thanked Tomah by sending them some of their autism patches. The police department is selling the patches to raise money for the UI Stead Family Children's hospital.

West Liberty Police should have the new cameras up and running by the end of the week.

As for their old cameras, the chief tells me they're paying it forward and donating them to the Leon Police Department in Decatur County, Iowa.