The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has selected a body-cam system and will issue them to deputies in early May.
In November, the agency started a two-month field-test for two different body-worn and in-car camera systems.
Deputies used each of the systems for 30 days and evaluated the camera systems, software, data storage, cost and customer service.
After receiving input from the testing deputies, the agency’s IT department, and the automotive fleet manager, officials decided to outfit deputies and vehicles with the Safe Fleet – Coban camera systems.
Sgt. Jayson Janes said the body cams will be distributed to all patrol deputies starting the week of May 3. Installing the cameras in patrol vehicles will be done in phases.
Janes said the agency is working on a policy for the body and in-car cameras and will have that complete by May 3 as well.
“The Sheriff’s Office knows implementing the use of body-worn cameras is an important step in enhancing public trust and the transparency of our operations,” he said. “We also know implementing the camera systems comes at a cost to the residents of Deschutes County. Based on the results of the testing, the Sheriff’s Office believes the decision to choose Safe Fleet – Coban allows the Sheriff’s Office to implement body-worn and in-car cameras systems in the most fiscally responsible manner.”
Janes said the system cost about $750,000 for five years of support, maintenance, warranty service, and free upgrades in the coming years.
The Safe Fleet – Coban camera system is also being used by the Oregon State Police, Los Angeles Police Department, Chicago Police Department, Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
The Bend Police Department is also currently testing body cam systems, but the Safe Fleet system isn’t one of the options.