From the Desk of Sheriff Prummell-
At the end of July, I shared our progress of narrowing down our options out of the body worn camera industry leaders. As we move towards full implementation, it is my intention to share each step we take with the community.
In the very beginning of this process the agency hosted 5 different industry leaders to present their product and technology to command staff, management information systems (MIS) staff, and a board of chosen law enforcement deputies to analyze each. Through this process, we were able to narrow our options to two of the best suited for our needs and our community.
This past Monday, we began a 60-day trial period for each provider totaling 120 days. This back-to-back trial period is at no cost to the agency and is provided to a limited test group comprised of 20 road deputies (3 also equipped with vehicle cameras), and 6 corrections deputies within the Charlotte County Jail. This breaks down to 4 cameras per district with others dispersed throughout specialty units such as K9, Marine and Traffic.
This test period will be essential for our agency to determine pros and cons, MIS to evaluate the capabilities of each system, and for our deputies to gauge the effectiveness and durability of the actual product.
We are passionate about implementing advanced technology necessary for our agency, such as automatic or CAD activation, innovative safety features, and the most secure apparatus so the video is available when needed.
With this added technology, we hope to offer increased efficiency in administrative work, leaving more time for proactive policing. Throughout both test periods, regular meetings will be held to discuss concerns as they arise.
All video recorded within the testing period will be subject to Florida State Statute. Exemptions will be made by staff when required; and will institute mandatory training of records staff.
We perceive body cameras as an invaluable tool for transparency and accountability for both the community, and my staff. Those chosen for the test group have been receptive during the process and are eager to participate.