Jackson County approves body cameras for sheriff’s deputies

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has experimented with body cameras over the past several months, and now they’re ready to let the cameras roll full time.

“I think the time has come now where it really is necessary,” said Sheriff Steven Rand.

Tuesday night, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of 48 body cameras.

That means every sheriff’s deputy will soon have a camera on them.

“We’ll have coverage of nearly every interaction with the public. Documenting events and incidents and accurately recording what occurs on the street,” Rand said.

The sheriff says the devices will be standard body cameras, similar to what we’ve seen law enforcement using across mid-Michigan.

He wants the public to know that if they have contact with a deputy it’s going to be caught on camera.

“It will be something that protects them, it will protect us, but it may be used criminally. So if they say something or do something that might incriminate them, it’s very likely going to be documented,” Rand said.

He says the sheriff’s office will be mindful of what video it releases and will protect people’s privacy.

Only one other law enforcement agency in the county has body cameras, so Sheriff Rand says this big purchase is needed to bring Jackson County into 21st century police work.

“We are just trying to do what’s best for the county, best for the public and be good stewards of our tax dollars,” Rand said.

The sheriff says his deputies will receive training on how to use the cameras, and could start wearing them sometime this spring.

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