COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — All Franklin County deputy sheriffs will have body cameras after a contract was approved to acquire them.
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $2.5 million contract for all 565 certified deputy sheriffs to have body cameras and a policy to govern their use.
The move has been more than a year in the making since the commissioners first approved the funding for the cameras.
The county will purchase 650 Motorola Watchguard V300 cameras with a 4K video sensor, 1080p resolution, dual microphones, and built-in WiFi and GPS.
A lookback feature is equipped in the body cameras to capture video and audio prior to activation to record events that occur suddenly.
“Protects our community members but also protects our law enforcement officers,” said Franklin County Board of Commissioners President Erica Crawley.
Franklin County deputies will be required to wear and activate cameras for all law enforcement activities.
“It’s a great way to document,” said Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin. “Otherwise, without it, you try to rely on your memory and written documents and records, but having that photographic record is terrific.”
Baldwin said any deputy working on the street will wear one of the cameras with few exceptions. That policy also explains what types of calls deputies should turn on the cameras for while responding. That policy doesn’t take effect until July and is pending a bargaining agreement with the police union.
Fraternal Order of Police President Jeff Simpson said the union supports body cameras and transparency. He also said the union is negotiating with the county and hopes an agreement will be reached.
Later this year, Franklin County will hold public town hall meetings to introduce the new cameras to the public.