In September 2015, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) was one of only three agencies in Georgia to receive a Department of Justice body worn camera grant.
The grant requires that applicants establish a strong implementation plan, long term audio storage plan (including the cost of storing data) and a strong training policy before purchasing cameras. Part of the implementation plan and training program is to establish a team of stakeholders from outside the agency to participate in the policy development and continue to have input throughout the process.
Over the course of this year, NCSO developed a Body Worn Camera Committee consisting of members from all divisions within the agency and a team of stakeholders from outside the agency. Together, the committee completed and submitted a rough draft policy to the Department of Justice for approval.
The policy was approved and on Aug. 20 and a community forum was held at Turner Lake Complex to discuss the chosen cameras for the agency, the policy and any concerns or questions. The cameras chosen were Axon Body Cameras and Axon Flex Point of View Camera, both distributed by TASER International, Inc.
Just this month, NCSO received the long awaited body worn cameras. Agency training began immediately and after personnel successfully completed the training, cameras were approved for use in the field.
The training division and division commanders are continuously accepting detailed feedback from deputies and welcome feedback from citizens as well.
If citizens have feedback they would like to share, please contact Captain Sammy Banks at 678-625-1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.