The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has announced the trial phase for testing body-worn cameras for their deputies’ uniforms.
Almost a year ago Sheriff H.D. ‘Gator’ DeLoach tasked the department with moving toward body cameras due to the increased transparency the devices will provide.
The committee was formed that looked at policies, different cameras, storage, and downloading capability. The main focus was on four systems before settling on the final two.
Axon is the first of the two devices in trials and a few of the Putnam County deputies have worn the body cameras for about a month. They will submit their comments to the committee, which will recommend the final system.
The sheriff’s office expects to incur about $75,000 a year in storage costs for the system. This does not include the additional employees to maintain record-keeping or the hardware costs for the first year.
“My concern to our residents was the cost of body cameras,” DeLoach said. “However with the changing atmosphere on a national scale, I believe it is in our best interest to showcase the professionalism, heroic actions, and interactions we have with our community.”
The cameras do not have enhanced visuals such as night vision or an angle wider than the human eye. Reportedly the cameras will record exactly what the deputies see from their perspective.
The cameras are turned on by the deputies. However, if at any time a Taser or firearm is pulled from a holster, the cameras will reportedly automatically turn on and record.
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