Feb 10, 2022 - News

Polk County sheriff requests body cameras

A photo of a police body cam.

Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Body cameras would be used by Polk County sheriff's deputies under a $941,000 budget recommendation made to supervisors Wednesday.

Why it matters: Law enforcement agencies often adopt body cams to improve safety and enhance the quality of evidence, although studies show mixed results, according to the National Institute of Justice.

Catch up quick: The sheriff's office is one of the last law enforcement agencies in the county to implement a body camera program for patrol officers, Sheriff Kevin Schneider told supervisors during a meeting last month.

The intrigue: Schneider originally requested hiring two additional full-time staffers, largely to field public record requests and complete potential redactions linked with any video footage.

  • But county administrator John Norris' recommendation Wednesday is $94,000 less than Schneider's initial request, allowing for one staffer.

What's next: Supervisors next month will finalize the overall $313 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

  • The county government's property tax rates would decrease as much as 5% under this week's recommendations.
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