CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For the past 10 months, deputies with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department have been testing out body cameras. Chief Deputy for the department sasy they will test out a new brand of cameras in April.
Chief Crawford gave out an update to the Kanawha County Commission Thursday afternoon. Chief Crawford said they’ve been going through trials with a Motorola brand of body cameras. The Motorola camera also attaches to the in-car camera in a deputies patrol car.
The commission has already approved the funding required for these cameras for the sheriff’s department.
“We want the latest, greatest technology,” said Crawford. “We want a policy at the Kanawha County Sherriff’s office that best fits us.
These body cams will have the latest technology, helping protect not only the public, but also the deputies who are using them.
The chief deputy said they will next test out a slightly different camera from Axon. Crawford said he doesn’t know of any department in the southern part of the state that’s using these kinds of cameras with the abilities they come with.
“When we roll this out on our platform, we want input from everybody,” Crawford said Thursday, making sure all deputies in the department approve of the cameras used.
The price has gone up however, but the commission and President Kent Carper said they’re still on board. Crawford explained that over time the price has risen from an original estimate of $900 thousand dollars, to now somewhere between $1 million and $1.2 million.
The Kanawha County Commission plans to help fund the purchase by seeking grants from other agencies.
“You (the commission) came to us and said ‘were on board, let’s get this done.'”
Chief Crawford said the Sheriff’s Office would be ready to purchase body cams no later than early next year.