PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – On Wednesday, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri implemented the body-worn camera program at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Recognizing the public’s desire for body-worn cameras and the sheriff’s own desire to maintain absolute transparency, the program will initially outfit 30 deputies for a field trial. Those deputies are from areas throughout the agency that have contact with the public. The field trial will serve to work through logistics and draft policy which will lead to the outfitting of more than 800 deputies.
Believing technology has exponentially changed for the better, Sheriff Gualtieri has selected leading manufacturer Axon, formerly known as Taser International. The body-worn cameras will automatically activate when a deputy draws their firearm, turns on their electronic control weapon (TASER), and can also be manually activated by the deputy.
The program will cost approximately three million dollars per year for the next five years and will include the body-worn camera, TASER, a new in-car video system and holster activation which will work in conjunction with one another.
Sheriff Gualtieri stated, “Body-worn cameras are something that I absolutely endorse and embrace. I am listening to our community that overwhelmingly supports and wants these cameras, and I am committed to making that happen.”