HCSO rolls out body cameras

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen recently announced that HCSO has received body-worn cameras and deputies have begun using them. HCSO applied for a grant help paying for the cameras and the software that goes with them from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The $40,000 grant paid about half the initial costs for the body cams and support equipment. HCSO was required to match that amount, either in cash or in-kind labor.

Prior to receiving the cameras, HCSO was required to develop policy and procedures covering the use of the cameras and to have those policies and procedures approved by the US Department of Justice. The sheriff's office posted their draft policy and invited comments and suggestions from the public, which were considered in finalization of the policy.

HCSO Deputies have attended specific training on the use and operation of the body cams. Sheriff Allen gave special thanks to HCSO Sergeant Chris Aker, who worked diligently for several months on the grant, from the application process and ensuring the grant mandates were met, through receipt of the grant.

During the 2017 State Legislative Session, all law enforcement agencies were mandated to transition to body-worn cameras by July 1, 2018. With passage of that legislation, Nevada became the second state to require the use of body cams by law enforcement agencies.

"Body cams will protect our law enforcement officials and strengthen the relationship with those in the communities in which they serve," Sandoval said last year, when he signed the legislation into law.

"The grant allows us to stay ahead of the legislative mandate and will help keep the public and our deputies safe," said Allen.