Some South Dakota officers to get body cameras through grant
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Some law enforcement officers in South Dakota are getting body cameras thanks to a $300,000 grant.
The Rapid City Police Department and Pennington County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice awarded them the grant to implement a body-worn camera program across both western South Dakota agencies, the Rapid City Journal reported .
The two agencies will each contribute $150,000 to match the grant, bringing the initial funding to $600,000.
A three-month pilot project starting in January will bring body cameras to 15 city officers and 15 county deputies. During that period, cameras by three different manufacturers will be tested. One company will eventually be chosen to enter into an agreement with the agencies.
The body camera program is expected to be fully implemented by both agencies next June.
The grant and matching contributions will help cover the initial purchase of cameras for all officers and deputies working in a patrol function, as well as the ongoing cost of digital evidence storage for two years.
“The RCPD has been thoroughly researching body-worn cameras for the last five years,” said Lt. Mark Eisenbraun of the Rapid City Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. “The evolution of this technology has hit a point in which we feel confident in implementing it into the daily work of our officers. Once we do so, it will potentially be the largest program of its kind in the state of South Dakota.”
Elsewhere in South Dakota, the Sioux Falls Police Department is conducting a pilot program but has yet to implement body cameras across the agency.
There are currently no state laws regarding a general policy of use for body-worn cameras in law enforcement, nor any laws dealing with the length of time law enforcement should store the videos.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com