HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Atlantic Beach Police Department received a body camera donation from the Loris Police Department.
Lt. Matthew Cox is one of three officers with the Atlantic Beach Police Department, and part of his daily routine is putting on his body camera. The Body-Worn Cameras by Law Enforcement bill was signed into law in 2015. The bill requires all officers in South Carolina to wear body cameras.
Thanks to that bill and a public safety grant, the Atlantic Beach Police Department was given body cameras — but the battery only lasts about half a shift.
“The body cameras would deplete their battery life so we would run out of batteries, have to come back in and sit and recharge, or if there was one extra, get back out on the road,” Cox said.
But thanks to the Loris Police Department donating 12 more cameras, every officer is able to have a backup right away.
“So this is going to allow us to have full coverage, 24 hours a day, seven days a week when needed,” Cox said.
Cox said having a working body camera at all times is imperative.
“I have a tool that not only will help me with investigations, it’s also going to help me with any complaints that arise and it’s also there to protect the citizens as well,” he said. “We want to make the citizens feel that they’re safe as they are. By having a body camera, they know not only they’re being watched, we’re being watched as well.”
The Atlantic Beach Police Department is also in the process of hiring two more officers to help with growth in the town.