Hamilton County to purchase, introduce body cameras

HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune announced Friday that the county plans to purchase body cameras.

The cameras would be for patrol officers within the sheriff's division and peace officers on duty. As many as 400 certified peace officers within the sheriff's department could be outfitted with the body cameras.

"The issue is too important for our county to wait.  We need to take this step now – today – and commit to outfitting all patrol deputies and others in the sheriff's department where the use of body cameras will provide  necessary support to benefit the county and the citizens our uniformed personnel are sworn to serve and protect," Sheriff Neil and Commissioner Portune said in a joint statement.

After the a successful use of the body cameras during a 90-day pilot program in Lincoln Heights, the sheriff directed the completion of a grant application to acquire 170 body cameras for the department.  The grand would require a county match.

The program will require the development of policies around the maintenance and storage of the data obtained by the cameras; records retention and release policies; training for the use of the cameras and other administrative action.

Commissioner Portune proposed offering this to other police agencies in the county in an effort to promote full county wide use of body cameras by law enforcement and to help defray the cost through bulk purchasing.

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