FRANKLIN COUNTY - Franklin County Sheriff's Office is the latest department in the region to use body cameras.
The cameras add another level of transparency to police work, because, now, every time you come in contact with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy on patrol, your interaction will be recorded.
Capt. Phillip Young said 32 deputies, along with two school resource officers, will be equipped with cameras.
Young said video captured on the Pro-vision cameras will be stored in the county on a server they purchased along with 50 cameras, using the $53,000 allocated earlier this year by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.
Sheriff Bill Overton said body cameras are the newest essential for police work.
“Things that were happening across the country were bringing a spotlight to some of the concerns of the public were having as far as police response,” Overton said. “And certainly police had concerns to the questions from the public.”
Body cameras are now a tool to protect the public and the officers.
In the age of smartphone technology, in which everyone has a camera on hand, it's now in officers' best interest to have cameras too.
“We are living in a society now, where, for the most part we are videoing them, and folks are constantly videoing our entire actions. It's when you sit back and think about it, it's hard to imagine that's the type of world we are living in now, but it's a reality,” Overton said.
While cameras add accountability to authority, Overton said police studies have shown that body camera video is just as effective at vindicating officers whose actions are called into question.
“They understand that it's a benefit to them, as far as liability is concerned and as long as the public is aware of it. I think if we continue collecting data, we will probably find out that complaints will go down,” Overton said.
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