By Joe Bachman
Personnel of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department will soon wear body cameras.
During a report given to the public safety committee on Monday afternoon, Sheriff Thomas Reichert announced that officers will sport body cameras for reasons of public safety and accountability.
“More often than not, it’s been our experience that any type of recording has vindicated officers,” said Reichert. “I think it’s important that we get the individual body cams on the officers to supplement the ones in the car, currently.”
The cost for the body cameras have already been accounted for into this year’s budget, and will run approximately $1,000 per unit.
“This body camera system is a huge component of protecting the county’s interest while our people are out there,” said Captain Quentin Ellis. Ellis also alluded to the benefits of body cameras in court where conflicting testimonies could potentially be cleared up, as in some cases with squad car cameras.
The cameras will cover patrol staff, processing, and investigators, which will cover most of the sheriff’s department. There is no specific date set for the implementation of the coming body cameras, but according to Reichert, it will be “soon”.
“I believe that they will serve as a tool for law enforcement rather than something that could be used against them.”