Olmsted County Sheriff's Office equips all deputies with body ca - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office equips all deputies with body cams

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

It's an exciting night for the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.

The office has officially completed training for a special type of technology that will now be taking to the streets.

The Rochester Police Department has worn body cameras since March of 2016, and after Wednesday, the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office has joined in and has taken to the streets armed with body cameras, as well.

"This has been a culmination of just shy of two years of work by this office. And we are moving forward, as of today, to put the body cameras on the street," said Olmsted County Sheriff's Office Captain Scott Behrns.

All 65 deputies in the county will now be equipped with the body cams while on duty.

"In essence, when they're in the squad and they're traveling somewhere high-speed, it'll automatically be on, or if they're getting out of the car on a call that doesn't require the lights and siren, they'll have the ability to double-tap the center button twice to activate the camera right there," said Deputy Mark Baron of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, who is also the President of the Deputy Sheriff's Association.

These cameras are modern technology, at its finest.

"The body camera is bluetooth attached to my county work phone. My cell phone. So, by bluetoothing it there, it gives me the ability to see all the videos that I've taken for the day on there, that haven't uploaded yet, said Deputy Baron.

Deputy Baron also explained how these cameras work.

“Every squad car is going to have a signal unit in there. So once they, you know, every squad car has lights and sirens in it, so once they go to what we call position three, which would be lights and sirens, it activated their in-squad camera. It will be set up that the body camera will activate at the same moment that their in-squad camera sets up,” said Deputy Baron.

He added, “The camera starts 30 seconds behind when a deputy gets out. So it's constantly buffering 30 seconds behind them.”

With a policy based upon a draft given by the League of Minnesota Cities, supported by the Minnesota County Association, Captain Behrns said the cameras serve multiple purposes.

"This will be used when we have a complaint or concern about a specific deputy on a specific incident, we will certainly look into those. What we're going to use them for is to collect evidence. And we're going to use it to capture the fact that we believe that our people do a lot of good things on a daily basis that aren't seen," said Captain Behrns.

And, according to statistics, body cams seem to provide more assurance to the general public.

"Across the nation, agencies that have adopted body cameras have seen, on average, about a 62 percent decrease in complaints from the public," said Captain Behrns.

As the technology is used, some policies may be modified, based upon experiences.

Captains Behrns said the cost for the entire implementation is just shy of $150,000, over three years.

He said it's not a bad price if you take into consideration the benefits that both those in law enforcement and the community will get from the implementation of these body cameras.

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