Laurens Sheriff believes in body cams on deputies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Laurens Sheriff believes in body cams on deputies

Laurens deputies have been wearing body cams for several years. (FOX Carolina: 8/15/2014) Laurens deputies have been wearing body cams for several years. (FOX Carolina: 8/15/2014)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

For the past several years, Laurens County deputies have been sporting body cams, driving cars with dash cams, and using stun guns that record as soon as they're turned on.

People in Laurens County, like Amber Tisdale, are glad the cameras are in place in case an incident, like the shooting of an unarmed teen in Missouri, unfolds in the upstate.

"It solves problems both… nothing can get misjudged either way," said Tisdale.

Sheriff Ricky Chastain said high tech patrolling is all about protecting his team and the public.

"It eliminates the 'who do I believe process', and it shows exactly what happened… it keeps everybody in check," said Chastain.

Two of Chastain's sergeants who sport the cameras don't mind the extra gear.

"It shows that the sheriff's office is concerned and the deputies are doing their jobs correctly," said Sergeant John Carter.

"The benefit is pretty instant to see, and I think everybody's come around to embracing the technology," said Sergeant Barton Holmes.

Deputies said the benefits are it's easier to write up reports, review cases, and protect themselves and the public from mistreatment.

"We kind of believe in the video here because it doesn't put one side against the other. It just puts the facts out there. What happened, happened. If it was good or bad, we just deal with it and move on from there," said Chastain.

Some of the facts are missing in Ferguson, Missouri where 18-year-old Michael Brown was recently shot and killed by a police officer.

Reports said, unlike Laurens County, Ferguson police do not wear body cams or have dash cams in their cars.

Laurens County resident Edward Drayton said knowing the cameras is a good feeling.

"It makes people out here feel safer knowing that what happened is actually true, instead of just going off of word of mouth," said Drayton.

Sheriff Chastain said the cameras cost around $100 a piece, and they're worth the money.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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