Now recording: Body cameras will tell true, whole story

Posted at 2:38 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 14:38:11-05

In today’s world of cellphones being used to record everything from rock concerts to walking down the street, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is wanting to ensure that facts remain true during situations.

The sheriff’s office is now having its deputies use body cameras, which will help ensure that what happens during interactions are recorded.

“It is a true first hand account of what happened,” Undersheriff Christopher Kuhl said. “If there is somebody’s 20-second video bit shot on a standard cellphone, it may not be a true account. (These body cameras) have pre-event recording programmed in them.”

The cameras deputies will be using in Jackson County are always recording, Kuhl explained. When a deputy turns the camera on, the camera has already been recording and will pick up a set amount of seconds before the deputy hits record.

“It is always in a state of recording,” Kuhl said. “So if they get into a fight and turn it on, it will record 15 to 20 seconds prior to turning it on.”

The body cameras, made by TASER, have good performance sound and low light quality, Kuhl said.

The body cameras were “the next logical step,” Kuhl said, adding that even though 99.9-percent of the time there is a complaint on a deputy is a misunderstanding, the body camera will be able to tell the story with facts.

“There are a lot of benefits and it will tell the truthful story; the good, bad or indifferent,” Kuhl said. “It’s a good protection and evidence and is a welcomed addition.”

With incidents across the country showing interactions with police, Kuhl said those videos taken by the community may not be showing the whole story of what happened before. With the use of body cameras, he thinks that it will be able to show the full incident and provide the facts, “which is all anyone asks for.”

“This is one more tool to accurately document situations,” Kuhl said.

Kuhl said that he can foresee the use of body cameras become a requirement for many law enforcement agencies across the country.