SCIOTO — The Scioto County Sheriff’s Department is looking into purchasing body cameras for their deputies.
During a Scioto County Commissioners meeting Thursday, the commissioners approved a request from Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman to apply for a grant that would allow the purchase of body cameras.
The grant would be through the Ohio Department of Public Safety Office of Criminal Justice Services, under the state of Ohio body-worn grant program. The purpose of the project is to obtain body-worn cameras and a data server. The grant does not require a match from the county in funds and there is no funding cap.
In 2021, Governor Mike DeWine requested $10 million to be set aside in the state budget to help outfit law enforcement officers across the state with body cameras. The request was to help achieve DeWine’s goal “that most, if not all, law enforcement agencies in the state will establish a body camera program with the help of this grant funding.”
Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using body-worn cameras to serve a multitude of functions: to improve evidence collection, to train officers, to strengthen officer performance and accountability, to enhance agency transparency, and to document and investigate encounters between police and the public, according to the Office of Criminal Justice Services.
“My comment here would be to show appreciation to Sheriff Thoroughman for going after this grant money,” Commissioner Scottie Powell said. “The actual purpose of this grant is to protect our first responders and our citizens.”
“I think it’s a good idea,” Commissioner Bryan Davis said. “I echo what you say about our sheriff.”
Davis shared the Solid Waste District has already been using body cameras for some time and have had a resident admit to a felony on the camera.
“It is interesting how they can have multiple uses, but it is definitely something useful for our law enforcement and first responders as well,” Davis said.
While the grant does not have a funding match or cap, the program is limited in funding and departments without body cameras are more likely to receive the grant.
“I believe it will be for the patrolman,” Davis said.
Thoroughman, who has been working on getting body cameras for the department before taking office, shared the cost for each body camera was $995 and the server to store footage cost $12,208. Thoroughman said currently, the department is working on just getting cameras for patrolmen, which will total 28 cameras.
“When I see that line funding is limited, I know he is going to try to get as much as he can, but at least for his road patrol.”
Davis shared he also thought that if the sheriff could get the funding for body cameras, correctional officers should also wear them.
“Corrections would be handy too,” Davis said. “We really appreciate his (Thoroughman) aggressiveness in saving the county money in that there is no match and that he is applying for grants, so it’s not coming out of the general fund.”
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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