PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Months after Clark County officials authorized a five-year body camera contract, deputies have started to wear them on duty.
In April, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office conducted a 30-day field test of Axon Enterprises’ body-worn cameras and vehicle-mounted cameras.
Later in June, Clark County Council unanimously approved CCSO’s contract with the tech company. Along with the body and vehicle cameras, the contract included new Taser products and additional “performance improvements” for law enforcement officers.
On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office shared that 32 deputies completed body camera training and are now wearing them throughout their assignments.
According to the agency, other team members are still being instructed on how to use the cameras. By the end of the year, they expect most commissioned CCSO employees to be fully trained.
Clark County deputies are learning how to use the new Tasers as well. Once the Tasers and the body-worn cameras are deployed for all commissioned staff members, the Sheriff’s Office said it will focus on installing cameras in the vehicles and interview rooms. Those add-ons are slated for spring 2024.
“These new technologies will enable us to deliver better service, increase trust, and provide greater transparency to our community,” CCSO said in a statement. “The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the voters of Clark County for passing the Public Safety Tax, which funds the BWC program.”
The deployment of body cameras has become more common for city and county law enforcement offices across the country.
The Portland Police Bureau concluded its own body camera pilot program in October, making it one of the last major cities in the U.S. to do so.
Within two months, the agency revealed that more than 35,000 pieces of evidence were recorded on the cameras. The bureau will now take the next few months to sift through the evidence.