TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As a process to acquire 41 body cameras continues, the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department is one step closer getting them. Pending the approval of funding and a budget by the Vigo County Council, last week approval was given for a near $552,000, five year agreement with Utility Inc.
Sheriff John Plasse thinks this initiative will strengthen trust in Vigo County’s law enforcement.
“Accountability and transparency. I think that’s what we need to have in our community,” he said. “We’ve had that, we will continue to have that. I think that’ll just bolt our community support more than we already have, which is tremendous.”
Camera features include a cloud-based video storage and a safety feature that locates an injured officer.
Erick Beverly, with Change of Terre Haute, said acquiring body cameras is only one step of many toward police reform.
“For the sake of law enforcement wanting to build a relationship with the community, I think that’s very vital,” Beverly said. “Law enforcement wanting to get body cams, it’s important to be transparent between community and law enforcement.”
Citizens wanting to obtain footage from body cameras can do so through a public records request.
Above all, Plasse said these cameras provide an extra eye in the field.
“It provides transparency that the community wants. Also, it makes sure we’re doing the right thing. We train our guys to do the right thing,” Plasse said. “Obviously, if they don’t and it’s on camera, we’ll take care of that.”
These cameras are the same ones used by the Terre Haute Police Department. Plasse said he hopes to have operative cameras by January 2022.