AIKEN, S.C. – The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is requesting funds to outfit its deputies with body cameras. South Carolina passed a law last June requiring all law enforcement officers to wear the devices when on duty.
The Sheriff’s Office wants $182,000 to get body cameras for all 150 of its deputies. However, during a recent Aiken County Council budget meeting, council members said the state government should provide funding for the new police requirements.
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office tested out two of the cameras a year ago to choose which model to use in the field. Deputies told us then that the technology would help them better serve the community.
While South Carolina mandates that all law enforcement use these devices, they did not provide the funding to buy them. Aiken County Councilman Andrew Siders says the county likes the idea but simply doesn’t have the money for body cameras.
“It’s a litigious society, things happen and we want to protect the officers as well as we can. The body cameras is one more step towards that, but it is a huge price tag and right now the county just can’t afford it,” Siders said.
Siders says the state claims it will pay for the statewide mandate but there is no timetable if or when those funds will come.