Deputies with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office will get body cameras by the end of the summer.
And Sheriff Bill Prummell is hoping they will increase safety and transparency at the agency.
“They respond to a call for service, or they start to interact with somebody that things can escalate, the cameras are going to be required to be on,” Prummell said.
In an exclusive interview with WINK News, Prummell said he expects his deputies to start wearing body cameras by the end of the summer.
The agency is purchasing 475 body-worn cameras and 200 dash cams for $1.4 million a year.
Javon Spikes and the other founders of Unapologetically Black said this is a long time coming.
The group met with the sheriff’s office three times since last year pushing for body cams.
“We are happy that within a year, you know, they put the gas pedal to it,” Spikes said.
It’s a step in the right direction but not without concerns.
“We don’t want this to be more situations that people just die on camera,” Spikes said.
Prummell said the agency would have to investigate if a camera is not turned on by a deputy or it malfunctions.
“Then we would take necessary steps, whether it’s a remedial training or it comes down to discipline,” Prummell said.
“I want them to know that we’re doing the right thing for the right reasons, even when nobody’s looking,” Prummell added.