Sheriff: Sumter County to assign body cameras to deputies

Published: Dec. 6, 2014 at 1:00 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2015 at 4:42 PM EST
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SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis announced Friday that the sheriff's office has begun necessary steps to assign body cameras to Sumter County Sheriff's deputies.

Dennis recognized recent incidents in other parts of the country have shaken the faith of some people in the officers working to protect their communities.

"In order for a law enforcement agency to operate effectively, it must have the trust of the community it serves," said Dennis. "By using this technology, we at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office hope to continue to assure the people of Sumter County that their best interests are at the forefront of our efforts to protect them. At the same time, we are hopeful these body cameras will provide more transparency in our efforts and also help protect our officers and citizens alike."

So far, the sheriff's office has been able to obtain 20 cameras, and is currently in the process of finalizing policies and procedures governing the use of the body cameras.

Before fully implementing the cameras, the agency will formulate a policy which primarily addresses safety for both the officer and the public, while also incorporating concerns about privacy, accountability and compliance with applicable laws.

Once the protocol is established, the cameras will be distributed primarily to uniformed officers within the agency's patrol divisions as supplies become available.

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