We think the recent addition of body cameras to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is a move in the right direction.
As Sheriff Russell Martin pointed out last week, the body cams are an extension of the cruiser cameras that have been used for years by his department and others across Ohio and the nation.
At a time when law enforcement finds itself under intense scrutiny nationwide, adding body cameras can only serve to protect both the public and those whose job it is to protect the public. In other words, adding body cameras is, in our opinion, a win/win situation.
The cameras are costly, about $1,100 each, according to Martin, who was quick to point out that we are fortunate to be able to afford them here. Not all counties in Ohio have adequate funds to purchase this equipment despite their desire to have them in place.
Another benefit which Martin noted is that the presence of body cameras often alters residents’ behavior — for the better. Sometimes those under arrest tend to act out. Knowing their actions are being recorded could discourage bad behavior and thus keep a situation from escalating out of control.
We think it also creates additional awareness for local deputies, whose actions must always be above reproach. It creates that additional layer of accountability and transparency. That’s something that all Delaware County residents should support.
At a time when law enforcement personnel and citizens need to work together more than ever to ensure public safety, the placing of body cameras in Delaware County is the right fit.