Volusia County, FL - Sheriff Ben Johnson provided the Volusia County Council with an update on how VCSO's adoption of body cameras is progressing in Thursday's session.
Johnson opened his discussion by sharing a video with the council that went viral recently, showing an officer involved in an active shooter situation where he rescued a woman who was shot in the leg and her kids.
This video shows some of the value of body cams. "You saw heroes in action," said Johnson.
The project, which Johnson says has cost over $30 million, required a lot of advance planning, and there's a lot more to it than people realize. Before a deputy uses a body cam they have to go through a 4-hour hands-on training session, and they have to learn department policies and procedures regarding the cameras.
Initial training started in June. According to Johnson, since then, 165 out of 225 cameras have been deployed, and 210 deputies have been trained. The remaining 60 cameras are scheduled to be deployed within the next 2 weeks.
Over 10,000 videos have been recorded since June. On average, each deputy gets 1 hour of recording per shift. Of these recordings, 60% have value as evidence, according to Johnson. On average, 145 hours of recordings are collected each day and 86 of those hours have value as evidence.
Johnson admitted that deputies sometimes forget to turn on the cameras, but that will happen less frequently the longer the department continues to use them.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.