HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Houston County Sheriff’s department is looking forward to Monday’s commission meeting as they hope their $130,000 bid for body-worn cameras for deputies and jail staff will be approved.
“It’s for officer safety and integrity to make sure officers are telling the truth whenever they make a stop or dealing with an inmate there is always two sides to the story,” Major Bill Rafferty said.
Major Rafferty said right now they have cameras inside of the cars and some inside of the jail. He said so far there hasn’t been a huge issue during deputy patrol stops or correctional officers dealing with inmates — although they tend to be uncooperative and troublesome.
The sheriff’s department just wants to take a preventative measure that protects law enforcement and citizens.
“It shows that we are following our procedures as far as voice commands, on-hand commands, or if we have to use force same as deputies in the field or if we have to make contact with people,” He said.
Although it’s costly, the body cameras will also come with a massive amount of storage which can be beneficial down the road for evidence if there is a lawsuit or homicide case.
Not only are body cameras a part of their wishes — they are also working on getting a full body x-ray scanner for inmates at the jail department.
“You don’t want anybody in there with a weapon someone could get hurt, you don’t want any contraband as far as drugs and things like that because that causes major issues, especially with some of the drugs, and repercussion when using fentanyl because that can result in death,” Maj. Rafferty added.
The body cameras bid will be voted on at Monday’s meeting and they hope the full body scanner bid will be approved in August.