Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said Monday that deputies will start wearing body cameras.
Martin said the initial estimated cost for the project is $140,000.
“Almost $30,000 was offset by our insurance carrier,” he said during a Monday news conference. “The cameras themselves are over $1,100 a piece.”
Martin said Delaware County is fortunate to have a tax base that allows purchasing of the cameras.
“Body-worn cameras are just an extension of the cruiser cameras that have been deployed for a long time in our cars,” Martin said. “It’s just an enhancement to what we do.”
Martin said additional storage was purchased because the video takes up considerable storage. Captain Scott Vance said storage for video is 40 terabytes with a 40-terabyte backup.
Anticipating an increase in demand for videos, Martin said an additional person was hired.
Martin said the reason he advocated for the body cameras is because the data across the country shows when people realize they are being videoed the behavior often changes for the better.
“It’s my intent to make the job of our deputies as easy as possible,” Martin said. “We think it’s another tool that’s going to improve community expectations. It creates another layer of accountability and transparency.”
Martin said the cameras will, “affirm what the men and women do in the field day in and day out is the right thing under the tough circumstances,” he said. “More often than not it exonerates what law enforcement does.”
Martin said they took a significant amount of time because of the realization that it was taxpayers’ money being spent. He said his office did do a lot of equipment testing before deciding on the body cameras.
“We wanted to make sure that the equipment we purchased was compatible with what we use in the field already,” Martin said. “It’s a pretty important aspect to make sure you’ve got the right policies and procedures and training in place.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.