St. Augustine, Fla., Police to Start Using Body Cameras

St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox said that the officers within the department will begin using body cameras in their day-to-day interactions with the community beginning in early December.

body camera_shutterstock_1538332328
Shutterstock/Lutsenko_Oleksandr
(TNS) — St. Augustine, Fla., Police Chief Barry Fox said the department will begin using body cameras in its day-to-day interactions with the community beginning in early December.

The department has contracted with the Axon company to supply 60 sets of cameras and TASERS at a cost of $152,387, less than the original estimate of around $200,000 that Fox had submitted to city commissioners.

"We're excited about this," Fox told the Commission on Monday, applauding the leadership of the mayor and fellow commissioners on the matter. "It wasn't just a case of if, just when."

The body cameras, which are strapped to officers' bodies. will be used in two ways: manually activated once an officer comes into contact with a subject and automatically if an officer should retrieve a TASER or firearm from his or her holster.

The video will capture any event within 50 feet of the officer. It will also capture up to 30 seconds of an officer's actions before the officer enters into a given confrontation with a subject if he or she is not able to press the manual RECORD button.

Each officer's camera is charged for a 12-hour period.

Fox said that the Axon system will also allow the public to upload videos they have captured privately to substantiate or enhance official police evidence.

So far, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and the St. Augustine Beach Police Department have not added body cameras.

(c)2020 The St. Augustine Record, Fla. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.