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Sylvania Twp. police chief open to body cameras after officer shooting, but warns of 'costly' investment

After three shootings by Sylvania Twp. officers in the last 13 months, Chief Paul Long says he's open to more transparency. But it won't be cheap.

TOWNSHIP OF SYLVANIA, Ohio — The Sylvania Township police officer who killed 24-year-old Eduardo Parra Sunday morning after an alleged burglary remained on administrative leave Monday pending an investigation into his use of force.

Police chief Paul Long says it was justified. But there's no footage to prove that.

In newly-released 911 audio, a caller can be heard telling a dispatcher, "somebody just kicked down our front door and ran through our house."

It wasn't long after that police located Parra. Authorities say Parra claimed he had a weapon. That's when Ofc. Kyle Andrews, a Sylvania Township cop for two years, shot and killed him.

No weapon was recovered.

RELATED: 'I'm sorry man' | 911 caller in Sylvania Township says burglar apologized after he broke in, made his way through the home

Credit: WTOL

Sunday marked the third shooting by Sylvania Township police in the last 13 months. When asked if that concerned Long, he said, "Well certainly. Any chief, any head of a department would say you have to take a look at each incident. Each incident is completely distinct and unique in itself and all three of these were."

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"I hear about these types of instances very regularly," said Philip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University who studies policing and deadly force.

"It's absolutely imperative that local police officers, patrol officers, are equipped with body-worn cameras," Stinson told WTOL 11.

But none of Sylvania Township's 44 sworn officers have one. Long says it's because they're expensive.

"I'm a fan of body cameras," Long said. "I think they're a great tool, above board, transparent in everything we do here. So I don't have a problem with them. It's just, an initial outlay of them, it's just quite costly."

Long estimated an initial investment of around $200,000 plus yearly maintenance and storage fees.

But Stinson said in situations like these, cameras are worthwhile investments for justice.

"Most of these cases are found to be legally justified," Stinson said. "However, it's often problematic when we don't have video evidence. The police own the narratives in these situations."

Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation is examining the shooting.



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