SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hundreds of Manatee County Sheriff deputies are currently wearing body cameras.
The cameras have sensors that turn on and instantly start recording when a deputy draws their weapon or turn on their siren lights.
Sheriff Rick Wells says the body cameras will help give a full picture, rather than a bystander’s cellphone video that went viral on social media.
“There’s always so much false information that’s out there about a deputy during an encounter with a citizen. We just want the truth to be exposed. We want the truth to be out there. Regardless of what happened, we believe this will give a clear and accurate account of what took place...This is the way to capture everything that went on during that encounter. And not just 20 or 30-second phone video that you get on social media,” says Sheriff Wells.
MCSO deputies have been wearing body cameras for about a month. Sheriff Wells says within that time the sheriff’s office was able to determine two complaints were false because of the cameras.
“What I have found. The public wants to they want to believe us but they’re not really sure what took place and they hear about the false information,” he says.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office signed a 10-year contract for $10.8 million with Axon.