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Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office personnel are using body-worn cameras starting April 1. The cameras will be a valuable evidentiary tool, Sheriff Chris Amason said.
“We are very excited to announce our body cams went live this week,” Amason said. “This is something I promised to our residents, and we have worked hard to train personnel and get this important new tool up and running.”
After looking at a variety of options, WatchGuard, Inc. body-worn cameras were chosen. Deputies have been training on the use of the cameras and the implementation of the program. While the cameras provide transparency to the public, deputies can pull video footage to be used as evidence in cases.
“We’ve gone with the newest product available, so we’ve been able to get a product that we believe addresses many of the problems other agencies have had with body-worn cameras,” Amason said. “We also spoke to other agencies about best practices, so we’re able to build on past lessons learned.”
The Sheriff’s Office purchased 60 body-worn cameras for deputies and detectives. Additionally, the Transport Division has 11 new in-car systems that monitor the backseat and the front of the vehicle.
“These cameras will provide a layer of accountability and protection for our deputies as well as serving as training tools,” Amason said. “We have a great team that has worked hard to bring this program to fruition.”