NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WFXG) - As of Friday, May 1, the North Augusta Department of Public Safety officials are now equipped with body cameras.
“Today is the day that we went live with the cameras,” said officer Kristopher Howard.
Body cameras have been in the works for quite some time for the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.
“The button that's on the right side of my camera, I'll hit and that lets me know that the body cam is being recorded,” said Howard.
Friday morning, the department implemented the use of body cameras to their sworn uniformed officers.
“Law Enforcement, we've been using in car video for years. What this allows is the next step that will allow the officer to take the camera with him when he leave the car,” said Sergeant Luke Sherman.
Sgt. Sherman says there are limitations to the in car cameras.
Which direction the car is facing determines what the cameras pick-up and if the officer is far from the car, the audio can cut out.
“Now, by using this new technology, it's going to take the eyes of the officer basically to the courtroom, to the jury. So the jury gets to see why the officer effected the arrest or made a charge on something,” said Sherman
“Nobody in public safety including the director himself has authorization or access to delete any of the video that's taken. It would literally be an official request and have to go all the way through our I.T. department,” said Sherman.
Officials say that body cameras benefit both deputies and citizens and should not be used as a measure to act any differently in the line of duty.
“We are supposed to inform them that they are being recorded. So, there's no reason for them to act any differently than they would on a normal day basis,” said Howard.
Sgt. Sherman says that the body camera footage will be stored and saved up to six months.