In November 2017, the Board of Supervisors approved to match the money from a federal grant for the Kern County Sheriffs Department to obtain 92 body cameras. The grant is worth $135,000, so the department will be receiving $270,000.
The cost of the cameras is $38,513, the cost of the docking/charging stations is $24,614 and the ipods and cases cost $19,303. Storage costs total $29,575 for the first year and $80,681 for the following two years.
Axon is the company providing the cameras and storage for KCSO.
KCSO said the 92 cameras will be used by Metro Patrol deputies. Currently, 72 of the 92 cameras are being used. The remaining 20 will be added as deputies are trained.
Sergeant Ryan Dunbier with KCSO said the cameras will hold both deputies and the public accountable for their actions.
"Once they realize the cameras are there, I’ve seen the public change their reaction toward law enforcement, as it’s changed the actions of the deputies toward the public," said Sergeant Dunbier.
He said the feedback from deputies has been mixed, but he reminds them that cameras are everywhere in today's world and body cameras are the future of law enforcement, so this is simply keeping up with the times.
"We’re being videotaped everywhere we are anyway, especially in law enforcement," said Sergeant Dunbier.