School Resource Deputies first to receive Body Worn Cameras

Charlotte County, FL- August 9, 2021

Cameras prior to distribution

After months of training and preparation, Sheriff Bill Prummell is pleased to announce the first wave of deputies will receive their Axon body worn cameras (BWC) just in time for the first day of school.

Beginning August 10, 2021, all 25 members of the Juvenile unit will be equipped with BWC. The 25 members include 20 school resource deputies, 2 Juvenile Unit Corporals, 2 Juvenile Unit Sergeants, and the Juvenile Unit Lieutenant. Prior to this roll-out, Juvenile Unit deputies were extensively trained on the equipment, as well as the policies and procedures governing their use.

As we progress through deployment, Deputies will continue to be trained in all functionalities of the BWC. In addition, there are phone apps that they will use to ease their workflow and help with photo and video evidence collection as well as help with their report writing. They will be trained on how to access their videos from storage and shown features within the system that allow them to build case folders and share the information with the State’s Attorney’s Office or other agencies.

Another key feature is the ability to easily connect with the community. Utilizing Axon technology, it will be easier than ever to collect and manage evidence submitted by the community. With Axon Citizen, we will be able to invite individual witnesses – or the entire community – to submit photos and videos of an incident directly to our agency.

Axon technology has a network of over 397,800 licensed users domestically and thousands worldwide. Locally, neighboring agencies including North Port Police Department and the Punta Gorda Police Department have Axon BWC in use.

“Body worn cameras have finally become a reality for Charlotte County.  After more than a year of research and training, our roll out begins with our school resource deputies and will continue until all our uniformed deputies are issued a BWC.  These cameras will not only help bring transparency and continue to build trust with our community but will also protect our staff. The evidence garnered will help build stronger cases for the State Attorney’s Office to prosecute, with the end goal of keeping our citizens and visitors safe. I would like to thank the community for their support and patience during this process.”

Sheriff Bill Prummell

The assignment of the body worn and vehicle cameras will be conducted through our yearly block training schedule which extends through November. We expect all personnel will be fully equipped and trained by the end of 2021.

Members of several different units participate in BWC training conducted by CCSO Training Staff and Axon officials

This process, albeit a lengthy one, was necessary to evaluate costs, storage and retention of video, and develop necessary policies and procedures. The full cost of implementation including equipment and storage was negotiated as a 5-year contract. This amount was included in the Sheriff’s budget proposal and approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

Yearly cost:

Year 1:  $1.462,301.90

Year 2: $1,451,940

Years 35: $1,268,340

All video captured is subject to Florida State Statute 119 in regards to public records and exemptions will be made by staff when required.

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