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Sarpy Sheriff's Office deputies to use body cameras

Sarpy Sheriff's Office deputies to use body cameras

The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office recently began implementing the use of 42 body-worn cameras among its deputies assigned to the Road Patrol.

Body-worn cameras can be a useful tool for evidentiary purposes, documentation, investigating complaints, improving safety and enhancing training, said a press release from the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office.

“They provide another way to document events,” said Lt. Dan Golda.

In the works for about a year and a half, the Sheriff’s Office conducted research, completed the federal grant application process, field tested cameras and arranged funding for the project. Cameras were field tested, policies were created and storage and technical issues were addressed before the equipment was acquired.

“We initially had a select number of deputy’s start using them so we could identify and iron out any issues that came up,” Golda said. “We should have all Road Patrol deputies using them within a couple weeks. “

A total of $440,000 has been budgeted for the project, which includes the replacement of all in-cruiser cameras. This replacement will allow the in-cruiser cameras and body-worn cameras to work together on the same system.

Funding comes through the combination of a federal grant, federal forfeiture funds and county budgetary funds: $84,000 from a federal body-worn camera grant; $80,000 from Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office federal forfeiture funds; $50,000 from Sarpy County Attorney federal forfeiture funds, and $226,000 from the Road Patrol budget.

“We believe they will be a valuable tool that will benefit both the community and our deputies,” Golda said. “We had considered implementing them in the past, but funding was an issue. Also, they have become more commonplace and their use is expected by a good deal of the public.”

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