County expected to approve Sheriff’s patrol car camera request

June 10, 2014

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Sheriff’s Office may be a step closer to keeping its deputies a little safer if the county board of commissioners approves its request for in-car cameras tonight.

Sheriff Kim Cole is requesting replacing and adding cameras to the county’s 13 patrol vehicles.

“In recent years due to break downs and failures to updated equipment with respect to read patrol in-car cameras, the sheriff’s office road patrol has limited functioning in-car cameras,” Cole wrote to the commission.

Currently only four of the marked patrol cars have cameras. Placing cameras in the remaining nine vehicles will cost $33,016, including a wireless system with a hot spot for automatic secured downloads.

The sheriff’s office has submitted a grant from its insurance carrier for $11,005 and is requesting the county approve its share of $22,010.

“I”m cautiously optimistic that we will get the grant,” Cole said, adding if the grant is not received he will request the county pay for the additional balance. “We have to have cameras in our patrol cars,” he said. “It’s safer for the officers and safer for the public. In light of events that have happened the last couple of years in our community, law enforcement has to take steps to protect our officers on the road. Cameras also protect the public as well.”

The county finance committee is recommending the board of commissioners approve the request. The board meets tonight at 7 p.m. at the courthouse.