Aiken County deputies now equipped with body cameras, helps agency be more transparent

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office just got its hands on new equipment, that will help the agency be more transparent when it comes to enforcing the law.

Since April, every uniformed deputy has been wearing a body camera.

The device records up to 9 hours of video and has a battery life of up to 8 hours.

The push of a switch marks the starts of the day for Aiken County deputies.

“Anytime you have more video evidence of course you’re more transparent, but really what it’s doing for us is helping us to gather more evidence.” Sheriff Michael Hunt told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Two years ago, South Carolina lawmaker passed a bill that requires deputies to wear the devices.

Despite not having the funding to pay for the body cameras, Sheriff Hunt says the Sheriff’s Office drafted its own policy and procedures for the equipment.

So when they finally got the money to pay for cameras, it was just a matter of training officers and getting them set up with the technology.

“Essentially all it is, is one button activation on the side of the camera pushing a hold of the button. The unit will vibrate, an indicator light will appear on the top and then it’s recording.” Captain Eric Abdullah explained.

However, having an extra set of eyes isn’t a new thing for these law enforcement officers.

“We’ve always had cameras in our cars and we’ve always told our deputies even if you can’t get the incident on camera, get us the audio.” Hunt said.

The Sheriff’s Office has approximately 140 body cameras.

Captain Abdullah says they will be purchasing more as needed.

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