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Pinellas County Sheriff's Office To Begin Outfitting Deputies With Body Cameras

Pinellas County Sheriff  Bob Gualtieri
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
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Pinellas County Sherriff Bob Gualtieri says the agency’s more than 800 deputies in the field will wear the cameras.

The Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the program. More than $3.82 million was approved for the current fiscal year.

Pinellas County Commissioners have approved a plan to equip Sheriff’s deputies with body cameras.

The program is expected to cost nearly $25 million over the next six years, and will outfit approximately 875 deputies with cameras. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office rolled out a pilot program in October with thirty deputies testing the body cameras.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told commissioners at Tuesday's meeting that his office is still implementing a final policy when it comes to how the cameras will be used.

"There are times when it is required to be on and that would be anytime that the deputy's engaged in any type of planned enforcement action,” he said. “With this system, the camera system automatically comes on when the deputy's gun comes out of the holster. It automatically comes on when the taser is activated."

Gualtieri said deputies will have some discretion in turning off a camera including when interviewing a victim of a crime or when speaking with children.

The contract for the cameras starts March 1.

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