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Wooodbury County Sees Success In Use Of Body Cameras

Click here to see body camera videos Woodbury County deputies used for recent crimes.
Sioux City (ABC9 News) - As a veteran deputy for Woodbury County, Sergeant Don Armstrong has seen it all  but now he has a second set of eyes.

"Initially, we liked the car camera but we found out having the body camera and being able to take it in to a residence, that's been a huge plus,” said Sgt. Don Armstrong of Woodbury County. Body cameras were purchased this year with leftover county funds. The 75 cameras came with a 50,000 dollar price tag, plus an additional 20,000 a year for storage space.

The body cameras as very simple and small. You can either wear it around your neck or you can attach it to your sunglasses. Woodbury County deputies say body cameras are beneficial when it comes to trials. "If it's just your in-dash camera, all you're hearing is audio and at least when we're at a residence, we can now have a face, the voices and everything. It helps us, it helps the county attorney, and it helps the jury,” said David Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff.

The video above has an example recorded by one of the cams. It comes from a call about an alleged assault. you can see both the deputy and the suspect following the proper protocol. With the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Sheriff Drew says this technology could have an impact in such cases.

 "One of the reasons that we went to body cameras is because of some of the issues that they're facing and I think cameras and technology could help you. It would make a clearer picture of what took place,” said Drew. The sheriffs department says it's the first agency of its size to start using the body cams, but Drew is confident others will be jumping on board.
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