Body cameras in local law enforcement's future

By  | 

The two agencies plan to purchase 200 cameras and add an additional staff member. The RCPD and Sheriff's Office will each add $150,000 dollars of their own to match the DOJ contribution. Authorities say the agencies and committees have been working for years to establish policy on when the cameras will be turned on during duty.

Mark Eisenbraun, Rapid City Police Dept. Lieutenant, says "By and large, we want these cameras to be on any time police offers or deputies are contacting the public in a manner that should be recorded. It is in the best interest of all of us if we can capture that information and these images in real time as they're happening, that will be effective to help us in our protection of those cases."

Records management says the most expensive part of the new technology is the archiving, in which all data released will follow state laws. The Community Advisory Committee says the project will also fulfill the needs of both victims and perpetrators.

Jennie Clabo, Technology Records Manager, says "We solely want these for evidentiary purposes and to help with justice, not to put anything out here or for entertainment purposes.

Vaughn Vargas, Community Advisory Coordinator says, "What we're hoping with body worn cameras is that we're able to get perpetrators some re-education to know that this behavior is unacceptable and that we can enhance our community."

Law enforcement will begin a three-month trial period in January to work on logistics and find out which equipment works best.