Jefferson Co. Deputies Wearing Body Cameras
Sheriff's deputies in one of Alabama's largest counties are now armed with body cameras.
Jefferson County deputies are now officially wearing the equipment after nearly a year of testing and evaluating the technology.
Supporters say recording encounters between citizens and officers reduces police violence and protects officers by providing objective video evidence.
Skeptics argue body cameras create privacy concerns for both officers and citizens.
Jefferson County Sherriff Mike Hale says he believes the video and audio will aid in the prosecution of cases as well as in the investigation of complaints against deputies.
Hale says “the overwhelming majority of the time, these cameras show law enforcement officers are doing things right, and the few times that doesn't happen it gives us a great tool for corrective training."
A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will pay half the cost associated with the cameras, according to Al.com.
Sheriff's officials took the lead on securing a federal grant for $702,000 that is being shared between the sheriff's office and other area law enforcement agencies that needed assistance in acquiring the cameras.