The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office received a grant to buy new body cameras. This comes after the body camera bill passed in 2015.
The agency was awarded $112,011.27 for the purchase and data storage of body-worn cameras through the General Assembly’s Body-Worn Cameras Fund.
Sen. Gerald Malloy of Darlington was the chief sponsor of S.47, the Body Camera Bill. This law requires all law enforcement agencies within the state to implement the use of body-worn cameras. Also, the law requires the state to fund local agencies with the purchase, maintenance, and replacement of body-worn cameras and ongoing costs related to the maintenance and storage of data recorded by body-worn cameras.
“We purchased 75 body cameras, as well as the ability to do the data storage which is obviously the most expensive portion and one of the most important,“ said Lt. Robert Kilgo with the DCSO.
The video on each body-worn cameras will be kept for as long as the agency needs it, and also depending on the incident being recorded.
“As of this morning, in a four days time, we’ve accumulated 500 videos. So that‘s how much interaction deputies are having with the public,“ said Lt. Kilgo.
The cameras will show individuals involved in the case in different ways – theoretically making an investigation easier and more thorough. The sheriff’s office has a policy when it comes to releasing any body-worn cameras footage to the public.
“It’s the sole discretion of the sheriff about what is released. Under state law body-worn camera footage is not considered public record, so it’s the discretion of the agency about what is released,“ said Lt. Kilgo.
The sheriff’s office has 75 cameras in place, enough for each deputy to wear daily.