All Baltimore County officers have body cameras

Posted at 4:47 AM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 13:03:06-04

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Tuesday that all 1,400 uniformed officers with the Baltimore County Police Department are equipped with body cameras.

"Our police and information technology professionals implemented this important transparency initiative in a thorough and expedited manner," said Kamenetz. "I appreciate the concerted efforts of our many partners including the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Number 4, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Sheriff R. Jay Fisher. We received valuable input from many stakeholders including the NAACP, ACLU, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and representatives from the Latino community and other community groups."

The initial rollout of the body cameras began in the fall of 2015. Kamenetz and the police department moved forward with deploying the cameras, despite recommendations saying to wait. 

"The body-worn camera program has already proven helpful in a number of arrests and prosecutions, and as we move forward we are committed to adapting our program as best practices and new issues may evolve," said Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

Officials accelerated the effort after receiving backlash from incidents not recorded on the cameras. 

"Body cameras are a valuable law enforcement tool that helps to protect officers and the public alike, and I think that County Executive Kamenetz was wise to move forward quickly with equipping our officers," said County Council Chairman Tom Quirk.  

The program is expected to cost around $7 million in the first 5 years. 

Since the program started in 2015, the County has processed more than 25,000 recordings, including 450,000 hours of video. 79,000 files have been transferred to the States Attorney's Office. 

The cameras are paid for with money collected from the red light and speed camera tickets.