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Columbia’s FUSUS camera plan defeated on a 4-3 vote

Columbia’s FUSUS camera plan defeated on a 4-3 vote

Columbia’s city council has narrowly rejected a proposal to allow the FUSUS camera system.

Monday night’s vote was 4-3. Our news partner KMIZ reports the vote happened during a contentious meeting that lasted more than five hours. The three council members supporting FUSUS are Mayor Barbara Buffaloe, Councilman Matt Pitzer and Councilwoman Betsy Peters. The no votes came from Council members Pat Fowler, Andrea Waner, Roy Lovelady and Nick Foster.

Police Chief Geoff Jones tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that FUSUS does not identify people based on race.

“FUSUS is a platform that allows us to take video feeds that are already out in the community and bring them onto one platform,” Jones says.

Chief Jones says FUSUS doesn’t use facial recognition, but critics worry it could target specific demographics. Other critics express skepticism about how successful it’s been in other communities. Chief Jones says he heard positive responses from businesses before the meeting, saying the vast majority of businesses he spoke to support FUSUS. He says he heard concerns from two or three businesses, before the meeting.

Reporter Leila Mitchell from our news partner KMIZ reports First Ward Councilwoman Fowler had numerous questions about the camera system for Chief Jones.