Vehicle camera upgrades coming to DCSO

Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Sheriff Wiley Griffin asked the Decatur County Board of Commissioners to approve a five-year payment plan to Axon, a law enforcement equipment company, that will equip 25 DCSO vehicle with new cameras.

The board unanimously voted to spend $217,156.68 over the next five years for the equipment, an upgrade that Griffin said was much needed. DCSO has used a number of camera systems over the years. The current camera system DCSO is running is a patchwork of multiple systems together.

The Axon upgrades work better with the body cameras deputies are using, also made by Axon. They have the benefit of cloud-based storage, meaning additional hours of loading the footage onto a computer manually is a thing of the past.

“We will save money in labor and paying (employees) because this is more in today’s world,” said Griffin. “As (the vehicle) comes in from the parking lot, it unloads. This is a very modern, up-to-date system. And it has a lot of history behind it. We have never had a problem.”

Griffin added that the public has come to expect this kind of equipment from its law enforcement, and he wants to ensure the safety of DCSO employees and residents is always a priority.

“It’s for officer safety and citizen safety,” said Griffin. “I don’t think I have to stress to y’all how important cameras are. We all know that in today’s world, cameras are great. Fortunately, even our citizens are putting up cameras, which helps us a lot as far as law enforcement and dealing with a lot of stuff that goes on in this world.”

According to the five-year summary of payments, DCSO is scheduled to pay $32,829.41 its first year, a sum Griffin said is already well within his office’s budget. Payments for years 2-5 are set at $46,081.80.

“We can hopefully fit this into our budget in future years,” said Griffin. “We know we can this year, but we never know when we’re going to have a Hurricane Michael eat into overtime. We try to run a really lean budget, and it worked well for us this year.”