Union County Sheriff's Department gets new body cameras

Union Co. deputies bring in body cameras
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)

JONESBORO, IL (KFVS) - Deputies in Union County are taking a step, the Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel said they may have been hesitant to take in the past - and are being equipped with new body cameras.

Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel said law enforcement hasn't been faced with the problems that they are faced with today when it comes to alleged wrongdoings.

Harvel said 5 years ago, officers would have been hesitant to have a second eye on them, like a body camera.

But now, he said he didn't have a single person oppose the idea, and says officers want them.

Harvel said the cameras will be used anytime anyone is actively on patrol and anytime they receive a call for service.

The department will also use the cameras as an evaluation of the officer's performance.

"We can evaluate the video footage from when an officer takes a call and is doing something that is dangerous for him or for the public," Harvel said.

"Then we can re-evaluate that and say 'hey we need to train on this, or come up with a better way to handle this situation.'"

Harvel said he thinks eventually everyone will be required to wear one.

"I think that we're ahead of the curve," Harvel said. "I think that we need to go ahead and prepare for that and do it, because I think it's going to be a trend across the nation, that eventually every police agency in the United States will have to wear body cameras. I think that's where we're going."

The sheriff said the cameras have more of a benefit then they do a disadvantage to the department.

He also wants to promote transparency and professionalism within the department.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.