ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s deputies are now wearing body cameras while out on patrol. Sheriff Blaise Smith says it was long overdue.
“All uniformed partolmen will have body cameras, and it’s dual-purposed as far as i’m concerned. Not only does it protect the officers, but it protects the general public as well,” Sheriff Smith said.
Sheriff Smith says he’s been working for years to buy body cameras for his deputies, and he says the Axon Body 3 cameras are top of the line.
“Some of the features I like about it is that if you forget to turn it on and you jump out of your car to chase somebody or confront somebody, and you holler or speak or whatever loud noise is it, it automatically turns on,” he said.
The footage is then synced right to the deputies phone.
Deputies can also press the record button on their body camera. It will immediately start recording, and it will record everything that happened 30 seconds prior as well.
“The old saying is a picture is worth a thousand words. You get it on video, you really don’t have to have a jury decide what’s true and what’s not true. You see it right there. So I think it’s a protection mechanism for the officers, and it’s also for the people that they’re dealing with on the street,” Sheriff Smith added.
Before these body cameras, deputies were using voice recorders to document what happened in the field.
“I think it’s important for the simple reason that it actually protects both officers and civilians, so I think it’s a very important thing at this time with things that are going on,” Sheriff Smith said. “The old saying is the truth will set you free, and you’ll see the truth on the body cam.”