Body Cameras For Deputies

Law enforcement agencies around the nation have been equipping officers with body cameras in recent years.
And now, the cameras are coming to Ward County.

Jim Olson is live in Minot with details.

Sheriff’s deputies will soon have a new weapon as they patrol Ward County.
The department just bought almost two dozen body cameras that will go into use over the next few weeks.

The cameras attach to the equipment vest of the deputy and are activated when there’s a traffic stop or other situation that could involve an arrest.
The sheriff says video from the cameras will be used in court cases to show exactly what happened on a particular case.
He says the department has waited a while to join the body camera trend.

(Bob Barnard, Ward County Sheriff) “We sort of waited because there are a lot of issues to be straightened out: privacy issues, storage of the information, who the information can be shared with. Pretty much most of that has been taken care of now so we’re going to go ahead and make the purchase.”

22 cameras for the department cost $61,000 – but no local tax dollars are involved.
Sheriff Barnard says money seized in drug busts will pay the bill.

And he stresses the cameras won’t be recording continuously – only when there’s contact between a deputy and someone being stopped in a traffic violation or situation where there could be an arrest made.
 

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