South Dakota Agencies Receive Video Equipment
Law enforcement organizations obtain grants for in-car technology.
PIERRE, S.D. -- Attorney General Larry Long and Tom Dravland, Secretary of Public Safety
announced today that local law enforcement will receive in-car video equipment thanks to some federal grant money.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved an Incentive Grant for Alcohol-Impaired Driving Prevention for $298,927. The Police Chiefs' and Sheriffs' Associations have also received a federal grant for technology and earmarked $200,000 for the purchase of in-car video equipment.
"It is simply unacceptable that 91 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in South Dakota last year. Through funding from the Office of Highway Safety and other safety advocates, we will continue to enhance enforcement of impaired driving and heighten public awareness of the dangers of poor choices," said Dravland.
"Our goal is to save lives, and one way to do this is to get drinking and drugged drivers off the road," Dravland said. "The in-car video cameras provided to law enforcement agencies across the state will help accomplish this task." The grant funding will be used to purchase 250 complete in-car video cameras for distribution to local law enforcement.
"Onboard cameras are one of the most useful pieces of technical equipment to emerge in recent years. They will serve as a great tool in several ways to improve policing across South Dakota. They will save counties a great deal of money in prosecution costs and will help settle citizen complaints objectively. They can also change perceptions and are also a great training asset to the police departments and sheriffs' offices," said Watertown Police Chief Terry Lohr.
"The South Dakota Police Chiefs' Association has been working with the Attorney General's Office and the South Dakota Sheriffs' Association for the past two years in an effort to equip every police car in the state with an onboard camera. This effort serves to demonstrate that when agencies work closely together, important needs can be met." Distribution of the in-car video equipment is expected to begin before the end of the year.
"The coordination by state and local officials to accomplish this project is indicative of the need to make technological advancements available to local law enforcement in South Dakota," said Perkins County Sheriff and SD Sheriffs' Association President Kelly Serr, "These in-car video systems will enhance the abilities of agencies statewide and seeing the project reach out to small communities, as well as large, is a crucial factor."