Sheriff to pass on body cams

Published 8:25 am Friday, February 10, 2017

While Winchester officials work through the finer points of approving body cams for its officers, Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. said his budget can’t afford them.

The cameras themselves aren’t the issue, he said. It’s the annual storage and licensing costs which would be the burden, he said. Storage and redaction costs could be thousands of dollars, he said.

According to the proposal from the Winchester Police Department, it would cost at least $10,000 annually for licenses and storage of the recordings. The city’s proposal was a five year buy-back program with Taser for 20 cameras.

Winchester Police Chief Kevin Palmer told the Winchester Board of Commissioners he would like to buy two cameras for each officer, so one would always be charged and ready. The additional cameras would bring the annual costs to about $18,000, he said.

“I don’t have the budget to support that,” Perdue said.

The sheriff said he had no other concerns about the cameras themselves, beyond the associated annual costs.

“Our guys are above board,” Perdue said. “We’re transparent. We do the right thing. We have nothing to hide.”

The cameras are relatively in expensive at about $300 each, Palmer said.

The recordings would be subject to the state’s open record laws. Departments would have the ability to redact information, such as personal identifications, license plates or juveniles, from the recordings. That would be another cost in man-hours to redact videos, Perdue said.

Winchester’s proposal calls for recordings to be purged after 60 days. The recordings would be stored on a secure online server, he said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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