Sheriffs offices prepare for body cameras |

Sheriffs offices prepare for body cameras

by Amy Alonzo

Body cameras could be in the future for Nevada law enforcement officials, and Douglas County Sheriff’s officials and county commissioners on Thursday reflected on what impacts cameras could have locally.

“We support the idea, but this isn’t particularly about what we want. It’s about being prepared for what’s mandated,” Undersheriff Paul Howell said.

During the current Legislative session Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, is expected to introduce a bill requiring all law enforcement agencies adopt body camera systems. This would build off his 2015 bill, Senate Bill 111, which required Nevada Highway Patrol adopt the body cameras.

“The Democrats have the majority in the Senate — this is going to pass,” Howell said.

There are 17 county and 35 city law enforcement agencies in Nevada that would be impacted by the bill, Sheriff Ron Pierini said.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office recently undertook a body camera feasibility study.

During the study, the department determined Taser International would provide the services that best meet Douglas’ law enforcement needs; camera footage would be more efficiently stored on a cloud-based evidence storage system rather than a county IT-managed hard drive; and that a systems administrator position would need to be added.

In addition, the department determined the program would cost about $241,000 to implement, with annual recurring costs of $152,000.

Commissioners thanked the department for undertaking the study and for the strong relationships it has built in the community.

“We have the finest sheriff’s office in the state, and the one that has the least [number of] incidents,” Chairman Barry Penzel said.