Kershaw County Sheriff's Department purchasing body cameras
Kershaw County Sherrif Jim Matthews says body-camera research has shown positive results.
President Barack Obama proposed $236 million dollars to fund body-cameras. He hopes to better law enforcement across the country.
By: Laura Smith
The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office plans to have all its deputies equipped with body cameras by 2015. The sheriff says this is an attempt to better their relations with community members and to build more trust within law enforcement.
President Barack Obama and the White House proposed $236 million dollars to fund police body-cameras after an unarmed black teen was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
"I'm going to be proposing some new community policing initiatives that will significantly expand funding and training for local law enforcement, including up to 50,000 additional body-worn cameras for law enforcement agencies," said President Barack Obama during a series of meetings with community leaders and his cabinet over what happens in Ferguson now.
He said the problem is not just in Ferguson, Missouri but nationally.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews started looking at body cameras for his department after a South Carolina trooper was fired and arrested after an officer involved shooting at a gas station in Columbia. Dash cam video on trooper Sean Groubert's car provide evidence that led to his arrest after he shot the driver he pulled over.
"I am all for it. Other police department's testing out body-cameras have shown positive results. We have seen that aggression greatly reduced between the officer and the person being pulled over. We also found that the police officer acted more professionally,"said sheriff Jim Matthews.
Kershaw County Sheriff's office is not the only department testing out body-cameras within South Carolina. The USC police department has been using body cameras for several years now.
"We have been using body camera video to solve cases in court. This isn't new to us. We are excited to see more departments ordering them. It is a way for us to accurately show the truth," said USC police spokesperson Capt. Eric Grabski.
The cameras supplement dash cams in police cars and the many fixed cameras in public spaces in entertainment districts and along the city's major thoroughfares.
President Obama plans to issue an executive order to create a task force to look into policing in the 21-st century.