CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — For many law enforcement agencies, body camera footage has proven useful in getting a better picture of officers and their interactions with the public.
Of the 24 county agencies WRAL News called Tuesday, six answered and reported their law enforcement officers wore body cameras: Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Hoke, Person, Nash and Orange counties.
In Chatham County, the sheriff’s office spent years researching the technology that will get the best view of police encounters.
The small device costs around $900, but those at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said it’s a small price to pay for having extra eyes on patrol and keeping the public’s trust.
They previously had dash camera video, but they said body camera video with provide a more comprehensive view of an encounter.
“I think the public wants transparency and they want to see what’s going on,” Sheriff Mike Roberson said.
Roberson said he hopes the brand new body cameras will show the entire picture of patrol.
“We’re going to put them where we think they’re going to get the most use- our patrol, our civil unit and our detention unit to start off with,” he said.
From the box to the belt, 66 extra eyes will hit the streets of Chatham County.
“Well the idea is to show what happened so, whether it’s positive or negative, to show it happened,” Roberson said.
The department put careful research into selecting the style, ruling out options that haven’t been as successful for departments across the country, like body camera’s one wears on the chest.