Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies closer to having body cameras

REED CITY — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is closer to having body cameras for its road patrol deputies and vehicles.

During a public hearing for an approved United States Department of Agriculture block grant on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Undersheriff Justin Halladay told county officials how the body and in-car cameras will work.

“The cameras are completely interchangeable,” Halladay said. “Instead of having just one view available, there will be five. There will be four from inside the patrol vehicle, four different vantage points. The system will automatically switch to the deputy’s body camera when it is turned on.”

The sheriff’s department was approved for $15,500 in grant funds from the USDA. The price tag on the 13 in-car and 10 body camera system is $44,769, and with the grant applied, the difference is $29,269. The request to purchase them were in the sheriff’s office capital requests for 2016, as well as the county’s proposed 2017 budget.

County Coordinator Sue Vander Pol said the USDA would like to get the purchase completed before the end of the calendar year, and the undersheriff said it will be.

Halladay added the purchase should be complete and the sheriff’s office should have the equipment within six to eight weeks.

“We hope to have them ready to go at the beginning of the year,” Halladay said. “There will need to be some time for installation and training.”