WCSO receives $11,500 in donations for body cameras

By JENNIFER COHRON
Posted 10/4/19

Donors have given $11,500 to the Walker County Sheriff's Office for the purchase of body cameras and in-car cameras.

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WCSO receives $11,500 in donations for body cameras

Posted

Donors have given $11,500 to the Walker County Sheriff's Office for the purchase of body cameras and in-car cameras.

Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith announced in August that he had used his discretionary funds to purchase eight body cameras for $2,500 as well as GPS units for $2,800  to be installed on all patrol vehicles. The move marked the first time that the department had issued body cameras to deputies. 

The plan was to have deputies share the cameras from shift to shift until additional funding could be secured.

An anonymous donor stepped forward with a $5,000 check after learning of the department's need, and the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County recently donated $5,500.

The funds have allowed Smith to purchase 30 body cameras, enough for every deputy. The remaining funds are being used to purchase cameras to be installed in the patrol vehicles.

Smith reiterated that the cameras are meant to protect the public as well as the deputies themselves.

Two complaints have been made against deputies since the cameras were issued. One was determined to be unfounded, and the other had merit. The latter involved a late-night visit to a residence in an unmarked car to serve a legal order. 

"Even if the officer didn't violate a procedure or there is a difference of opinion, we're able to coach the deputy on how to handle certain situations better in the future," Smith said.