MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
The sheriff's office in Morgan County plans to install video cameras on more of its patrol cars.
Only 10 of the department's 26 patrol vehicles have the cameras.
Capt. John Bili said the department has been testing several systems. The department is still trying to decide whether to buy dash cameras for the vehicles or body cameras that also double as dash cameras.
Bili said a body camera costs roughly $400 to $1,000.
A dual body and dash camera costs $900 to $1,500.
Morgan sheriff plans to install dash cameras in entire patrol fleet
Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2015 12:15 am
By Keith Clines Staff Writer | 7 comments
Decatur attorney Carl Cole believes a video camera recording from a Morgan County sheriff’s patrol car would easily have resolved the difference in stories told by his client and a deputy about what happened during a traffic stop in which his client was arrested.
Fewer than half of Morgan County patrol cars are equipped with cameras, but that may change soon.
The deputy and the defendant disagree about how the events unfolded. Cole said. There is no recording of the incident because the patrol car was one of the departments units without the video equipment.
A recording of the events could help Cole decided whether his client should plead guilty or if he should present the case to a jury. Cole said.
"In this particular case, you've got two very different stories." Cole said "A dash cam or body cam, either one would completely clear this up."
Only 10 of the department's 26 patrol vehicles are equipped with a camera, but sheriff's officials are working to install cameras in the other 16 units.
Capt. John Bili said the department has been hosting vendors and doing tests with the various camera systems to decide whether to buy dash cameras for the vehicles or buy body cameras that double as dash cameras.
Currently, the department has no body cameras for deputies to wear. Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said the department will buy body cameras for more than 80 deputies, warrant servers, jailers and courthouse security deputies.
Franklin and her staff are determining whether to buy dash cameras or the dual body/dash cameras for the patrol vehicles.