Douglas County OKs first body camera hire |

Douglas County OKs first body camera hire

Kurt Hildebrand

The first expenditure toward the implementation of body cameras for Douglas County law enforcement personnel is to hire someone to wrangle the video.

On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners agreed to add a new full-time person to the sheriff’s office to serve as a portable event recording device network technician.

That technician will essentially serve as archivist for the body camera files, ensuring they aren’t erased until an order is given by the district attorney’s office, Undersheriff Paul Howell said.

According to Howell, the sheriff’s office is evaluating five different systems for implementation. He said he wanted the person on board when the sheriff’s office selects the system.

County commissioners budgeted $393,400 for this fiscal year and the next, including funding for the new hire.

“Sometime between the selection of the vendor and the award of the contract, the sheriff’s office would like to fill the portable event recording device network technician so that person is available for the product implementation phase and management of the system,” Howell said in his report to commissioners.

The technician will also be in charge of the hardware and software associated with the program.

They will also be responsible for any release that may occur.

Howell anticipated the person would be hired in February or March.

Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, Senate Bill 176 was signed into law May 25 by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The bill goes into effect July 1, 2018.

Sheriff’s officials knew the mandate was coming and started preparing last year, and included it in the budget. The department underwent a feasibility study, testing various companies that provide camera services and studying how to best store the data. Deputies had never before used body cameras, he said. Department officials are also developing policies and procedures for implementing the cameras.

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