Deputies at the Logan County Sheriff’s Department will now have better protection, as will the public, with the purchase of a new body camera system approved by the fiscal court.
Court members voted Tuesday, Jan. 12th to purchase the new system at $20,736 per year for five years, which includes hardware and cloud space for storing video.
Sheriff Stephen Stratton said the 10-year-old system his department currently has is outdated and problematic, plus some of the deputies are without cameras.
The sheriff said he could find the money in his budget to pay for the expense even though he had not budgeted for it in this fiscal year.
“I have been trying to look for grants to help cover the costs but I haven’t had any luck,” said Stratton.
The court decided to enter into a leasing contract with Axon, one of the three who bid on the product. Axon currently supplies body cameras to the department. Stratton said the deputies are used to Axon.
“All bidders have basically the same philosophy and theory of digital storage,” said the sheriff, who recommended staying with Axon for many reasons, one of the biggest includes a network that is currently set up with the Commonwealth and county attorney for access.
“This is something we really need,” said Stratton. “It’s not cheap but it’s a necessity. It’s a great benefit not only for us as a department but for the citizens as well.”
Judge-Executive Logan Chick agreed with the sheriff to say, “These cameras are very beneficial. I know a couple of cases where they probably stopped a couple of lawsuits against the county.”
The department will receive 20 cameras with a license to activate 16. This includes docking stations. At the end of the five-year agreement, the county would have the option to receive all new cameras to replace the old ones.