Body cameras making an impact in Stephenson County
STEPHENSON COUNTY (WREX) -
Last fall the Stephenson County jail rolled out 30 body cameras to their correctional officers. The officers wear the cameras every day, which helps keep the peace between officers and inmates.
"We haven't had any fights since we started with the cameras," said Stephenson County Jail Administrator Steven Stovall. "The inmates know that the camera is on."
Stovall says there hasn't been one complaint filed by an inmate specifically regarding the cameras.
"We know that there are three stories, there's his, hers and the truth," said Stovall. "Well, we have the truth pinned to the collars or the lapels of our officers."
Stephenson County invested in the cameras after two separate instances of alleged officer misconduct at the jail. In one of those cases, a worker was fired.
"They've actually prevented several confrontations or what could become violent confrontations between inmates and the officers." adds Stephenson County Sheriff David Synders. "So they've been a great benefit to the staff and the office."
Despite the success of the cameras, officers still have one complaint.
"The biggest complaint is where is my camera?" Stovall said. "I need to make sure this thing is charged, how do I get this thing charged? They want the cameras now."
Several agencies around the U.S., including Winnebago County have called the jail showing interest in their success with the cameras.