Edmonson Voice Staff
With police agencies all across the nation being placed under scrutiny for alleged misconduct, police brutality, and racial profiling, Sheriff Shane Doyle has recently discussed the possibilities of the purchase of body cameras for members of his office. More and more agencies are using the personal cameras to protect citizens from misconduct, for police training, as well as protecting law enforcement from liability.
The problem for acquiring the personal devices? They're very expensive. With budget issues facing all Edmonson County offices, extra purchases that aren't necessary for operation are not options at this time, that is, unless you receive a generous donation from county citizens.
Sheriff Doyle said through an anonymous donation, his office will be purchasing the cameras for himself and county deputies, at the request of the donors. The donation amounted to $2,000, which he said would cover the cost of the cameras for the department.
"Body cameras allow us to have an additional witness to any situation," he said. "They can corroborate officers' statements and be used as training tools in the future by allowing us to see adjustments we need to make."
Donations to elected offices are highly regulated and are placed under a microscope to assure that funds are not misappropriated.
"We have to walk a very fine line when it comes to donations to the Sheriff's office," Doyle said. "There are tight regulations as to how they can be made and how they're to be used. The donors in this case wanted to remain anonymous because they didn't want any recognition for their generosity. The donors were aware of our need and limited resources, and specifically requested the funds be used for body-worn cameras. I can't say just how much we appreciate this support."
Doyle said he is currently field testing different options and that the purchase will be made once it's determined what best fits his department.