Wake County Sheriff’s Office receives $200k matching grant for body cams

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County Sheriff’s Office will soon able to equip dozens of deputies with body cameras thanks to a $200,000 grant that will be matched for a total of $400,000.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said he’s been working on getting the funding for two years. He said it will prove critical when responding to fluid situations like protests or shootings.

“It can help with the accountability and the transparency that is so desperately needed in law enforcement today, so we’re very excited,” Baker said.

Transparency and accountability were two big things the sheriff, clergy and the community discussed in a recent policing forum.

Bishop Darnell Dixon of Bible Way Temple, where that forum was held, said additional body cameras are a step in the right direction, however he has some reservations.

“I want to be confident, but I’m not there yet until we see through the sheriff’s department how these cameras are used and the mandate that is placed upon the officers in terms of keeping it on. The purpose is to have it activated so that the officer will not be able to turn it on and off,” said Dixon.

Both men say they are eager to see how the new cameras will improve relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

“Let’s just be forthright. Let’s walk in integrity and then I believe justice will prevail,” Dixon said.

It’s unclear when the new body cameras will go into the field, but Baker said it will be sometime in the near future.

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