Deputies to wear cameras

Published 8:49 am Monday, August 17, 2015

The recent trend to equip officers with body cameras has had an impact on law enforcement.

In their limited use across the country, they have proven to be a useful tool for agencies that have them. The primary benefits of body-worn cameras is the ability to video record critical incidents and encounters with the public and to strengthen officer accountability. In addition, footage from the cameras provides a valuable new type of evidence.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal is in the process of purchasing body cameras to be worn by all patrol deputies and detectives.

“The use of these cameras should have a positive impact on each encounter between an officer and a member of the public and will help to resolve any questions that might arise about the encounter,” Seal said. “This is one more step we have taken to improve transparency and professionalism in all that we do. We have some cameras already in use and others are on the way.”

Patrol Deputy Jay Dupre, one of the first officers to wear one of the new cameras, said he is pleased.

“I think this is a great officer tool that will benefit officers and the public,” Dupre said. “The video will not lie and will record each encounter exactly as it happened.  This is good for everyone involved.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation feel that body cameras are the wave of the future. Seal agreed.

“We are excited to be on the cutting edge for the use of these cameras and I am very pleased with the positive response from our officers,” Seal said.