Some deputies in Kern County will soon have another piece of equipment when they take the streets after the county agreed to match a federal grant for body cameras on Tuesday.
The Kern County Board of Supervisors approved the matching of a $135,000 grant for the cameras, making $270,000 available for the program. The Board approved this with four voting yes, and one absence.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the match came from AB 109 funds and not general dollars.
Sheriff Youngblood also said the cameras have led to reductions of use of force by deputies in those locations.
Wasco had body cameras installed in March and saw a reduction of use of force by officers from 50 in 2014 to just 14 this year. Prison body cameras were installed in 2015 in the county's Central Receiving Facility. There were 11 cases of use of force in 2013 and just one case this year so far. Body cameras installed in the Lerdo Pre-Trial Facility took 43 cases of use of force in 2013 to just five cases this year.