ST. LOUIS — A body camera program has been launched for sheriff’s deputies in St. Louis.
Sheriff Vernon Betts made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Today, I am happy to announce that I am instituting a body camera program for the Sheriff’s Office. Despite my office being woefully underfunded by city hall, I made this kind of accountability a priority,” Betts said. “I was able to utilize funds generated from land tax sales to test and purchase body cameras last year and am now launching the body camera program in full today.”
Thirty body cameras will be provided for deputies who work in the street every day serving papers, restraining orders, conducting evictions and those who are part of the Crisis Intervention Team, according to a press release.
The cameras are from a Chinese manufacturer called Boblov. The cameras cost $120 per unit and the total cost for the equipment for the program is about $4,000, according to the release.
The Boblov KJ21 body camera has auto IR night vision and a large capacity battery. The video recorder comes with a battery that lasts 9-10 hours and the camera can record video of up to 30 minutes in length, the release said.
The video data is recorded onto SD cards and will be swapped out and kept for 60 days, which is 30 days longer than what is legally required. Any video accompanying an incident report will be downloaded and stored indefinitely, according to the release.
Last year, the Crisis Intervention Team wore different models of cameras to test for durability and daily use and found the Boblov camera to perform well.
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