Sheriff’s Department wearing vest cameras

Local law enforcement has added another level of protection, but it isn’t a new firearm.

The device rests on a sectoin of the officer’s protective vests. It clips on like a beeper or phone case and is light weight. The officers have operation of it and it for the protection of the officer and for evidentiary purposes. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
The device rests on a sectoin of the officer’s protective vests. It clips on like a beeper or phone case and is light weight. The officers have operation of it and it for the protection of the officer and for evidentiary purposes. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

About a year ago, deputies from the Adams County Sheriff’s department began wearing a small vest camera while they are on duty.

The deck-of-card-sized apparatus clips firmly on to the front of the officer’s uniform on their protective vest just as you would slip a pager or phone clip on and off. The camera is activated and operated by the deputy and has a 30 second pre-record feature once the camera is turned on.

The battery of the device lasts the duration of the officer’s patrol shift. And once the shift is over they simply bring it back to the department building and plug it in for the next time they need to use it.

Sheriff Collins approached the Adams County Commission with a proposal to purchase the devices and was given approval to use money out of the general fund. The deputies, as well as Sheriff Collins, began wearing the cameras in 2015.

The cameras currently serve two purposes: evidence gathering, and officer protection.

Though the squad cars have a dashboard camera for both of those reasons, but the vest camera adds another dimension.

The video shot can be used in a multitude of ways. It can be used as evidence in a criminal or civil case, or it can also be used in a  claim against an officer.

“It helps us limit those liabilities,” Collins said

The camera used is made by the company Taser, and it is the Axon model. Deputy Trevor Bergerson gave the Record a brief demonstration of how to activate the camera.

With a switch and a click, the camera was ready to record in just a few seconds.

Bergerson said the device doesn’t get in the way of performing his required duties, and actually took off the camera to display the ease of access the deputy has to the hardware.

The footage taken by the vest cameras are downloaded to a computer and saved for a case if it being used as evidence. If the footage is not needed then the department stores it up to 30 days, as space allows.







GAMES