Body-worn cameras are now being distributed to uniformed patrol deputies at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Chad Chronister made the announcement on Monday, August 17.
With the support of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, HCSO purchased 1,000 body-worn cameras to outfit uniformed patrol deputies through the rank of sergeant, which will including specialty units such as School Resources Deputies, the K-9 section, Marine Unit, Port Security, Civil Process and Court Security Deputies.
“These are the deputies who have the most interaction with the community we serve,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “We’ve seen disheartening situations around our country recently, from civil unrest to vandalism, caused by a perceived lack of trust in law enforcement. We have heard the nationwide calls for change, and I am confident these body-worn cameras will further our commitment at the Sheriff’s Office of continuing to build trust through transparency.”
Deputies began training with the Axon Body 3 cameras on August 10. As each deputy is trained to use the equipment and the standard operating procedures surrounding it, they are equipped with their camera the same day. All of the cameras are expected to be distributed by the end of September.
“I believe the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is one of the most professional law enforcement agencies,” said Sheriff Chronister. “The overwhelming majority of our interactions with the public are positive. We have great deputies doing great work under tremendously stressful situations, and this technology is going to document these interactions.”
The Axon Body 3 will be worn in the center of the chest. The cameras have the ability to automatically activate in certain circumstances, such as a deputy removing their firearm from the holster or when the light bar is activated in their patrol vehicles. The Axon Body 3 is also equipped with live streaming capabilities that will allow supervisors to view the cameras in realtime during a critical incident.
Agencies that have implemented body-worn cameras have seen a reduction in use of force incidents and citizen complaints.
“I believe these cameras will provide reassurance for our deputies that their justified split-second decisions under extreme conditions will not be second guessed,” added Sheriff Chronister. “Having video evidence will provide clarity for everyone involved and hold all parties accountable.”
Media outlets can find b-roll of HCSO deputies training with the Axon Body 3 cameras in the link provided below.