BCSO purchases body cameras for patrol deputies

Bay County Sheriff's Office

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — The work of law enforcement officers is dangerous and often controversial, but a change by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office may shed more light on their work.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has purchased body cameras for all patrol deputies. Deputies are currently training with the new equipment and are expected to be worn by all deputies within a week.

BCSO has been tossing around the idea for months. Residents like Chrissy Chance think this choice is a good one.

“It will be a great thing because if it does come up then it is there if they need to review it,” Chance said. “But without that evidence, it’s their word against the officers.”

Sheriff Tommy Ford said he was originally hesitant to make the purchase mainly because the cost of the equipment is more than $350,000.

“We’ve used funding through the county commission from the taxpayers dollars,” Ford said. “So we are able to do it on our terms in a way that I as sheriff thinks is the best way.”

He said it was important that they waited to make this purchase to ensure they are doing it right.

“I think citizens expect and deserve that and I think we provide that to them this will be just another element of our accountability and trust,” Ford said. 

Sheriff Ford said the body cameras audio and video will link with the already installed dashboard cameras to show multiple angles of the situation. He said he is glad he took his time with the purchase and has full trust in his deputies.

“It’s going to show them doing great and wonderful things every day in the toughest circumstances,” Ford said.

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