Nevada County supervisors OK Sheriff’s Office body cams
Special to the Sierra Sun
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office is moving forward with body-worn cameras after the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the request.
Sheriff Shannan Moon requested the cameras, calling them a critical part of her office’s infrastructure tool kit.
“I appeared before you as a captain in 2012 to request in-car dashboard cameras, which we continue to use today,” Moon said.
According to Moon, the two camera systems will be integrated to be used in combination. Capt. Mike Walsh, with patrol operations, said delivery of the cameras should require about six weeks, depending on the supply chain as the cameras require considerable software.
Also part of the presentation was Rolf Kleinhans, chief financial and administration officer with the Sheriff’s Office.
“We worked long and hard and this is a big objective for the sheriff,” he said.
WatchGuard Video, Inc. is the company supplying the 82 body-worn cameras. Along with accompanying accessories, installation, and configuration to integrate with the in-car cameras and training, the total cost will be $152,628. However, $91,399 is provided by a federal government grant. The remainder funding is allocated from the sheriff’s budget.
Not all deputies will be deployed with the body worn cameras, said Lt. Andrew Trygg, public information officer.
“It’s not standard practice right out of the gate, but the focus will be on the patrol deputies,” said Trygg. “But we also have deputies assigned to the courthouse or out on investigation who could wear the cameras as well.”
Trygg pointed to an existing semi-conductor shortage nationwide, saying implementation of the body worn cameras will probably take some time.
“A computer server from the same company arrived two months later than we expected,” he said.
The major portion of the package, the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-wearable camera with a magnetic chest mount, comprised the significant part of the expense at $81,590.
Having both systems working in tandem offers advantages, Trygg said.
“You’ll have a perspective from the deputy car as well as a point of view from all sides surrounding the deputy as he examines an incident scene,” he said.
Trygg said the goal is to provide additional evidence as well as assure transparency with any public engagement.
“It will offer greater perspective as to what is occurring,” he said. “And we’re excited that the system will arrive here shortly.”
When questioned by Supervisor Hardy Bullock about the camera system’s reliability, Walsh called it a robust product.
“Mostly it’s a matter of replacing the batteries,” he added.
Supervisor Heidi Hall was supportive of the acquisition.
“I’m glad to see it come to fruition,” she said. “It’s public funding, and it will ensure transparency.”
William Roller is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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