SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The Bexar County Sheriff is a lot closer to reaching his goal of getting body cams for every deputy on the street.
His office has been awarded a federal grant of $765,000 for a fully-integrated body cam project. In addition to the patrol division, the body cams will be worn by the Special Operations Section , Traffic Safety Unit, Street Crimes Unit and the Adult Detention Bureau’s SERT Team.
“That is my intention before it’s all said and done –to equip every deputy on the street with body cams, ” the sheriff said. He told KTSA News they also plan to equip at least some of deputies at the jail with body cams.
The grant from the Office of Justice Programs will pay for 397 turn-key Axon body camera systems, which include docking stations, patrol vehicle capabilities, cloud storage, and training for deputies. Bexar County will pay for an additional 150 Axon cameras.
The grant also will pay for two open record specialist positions, along with software and technology to help review body cam footage.
“When someone makes an open records request or discovery on body camera video, there could be upwards of 7 to 10 deputies on the scene, all with body cameras,” said Salazar.
The open record specialists will review the body cam video and make redactions, for example, when a person who’s not involved in the case ends up on camera.
“That face will have to be blurred out and some license plates on vehicles will have to be blurred out before the video can be released,” the sheriff explained.
A program supervisor and a technical administrator — both positions within the law enforcement bureau–will oversee the Axos program.
Axon body cameras, which were utilized during the trial and test phase for Patrol and Detention Deputies, will remain in use.