Sheriff introduces new body cams

Derrek Vaughn | The Valdosta Daily TimesLowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk holds the new officer body cam attached to the optional glasses carried by his deputies. The new body cams will replace in-car cameras saving the taxpayers money on cost per unit as well as in labor that will be replaced by a more streamline system.

VALDOSTA – Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will be introducing new body cameras to the force, making its car cameras obsolete.

Sheriff Ashley Paulk invited members of other agencies and city officials to his squad room Thursday to discuss what the cameras mean for the department.

The new cloud-based system will allow the Southern District Attorney’s Office and anyone else involved in the case to view the footage, bypassing the need for costly discs to be used, he said. The system will also allow employees to focus on other duties as they will no longer have to compile discs.

Superior officers can access the camera footage of their deputies on duty at any time from a smartphone, the sheriff said.

Anytime a weapon is drawn or blue lights are used, the camera automatically activates. The wider angle of the lens allows the camera to record everything the car camera can with the added bonus of staying with the deputy at all times.

Removing the car cameras from patrol cars will save the department $5,000 per car, which Paulk said he feels is great timing as 36 more patrol cars will be hitting county roads in the next six months.

The camera is versatile and can be worn on a collar mount, shoulder mount or on sunglasses and the battery life is guaranteed for 15 hours.

Paulk said there is no way to edit or cut the videos and that, along with the cost benefit, it’s providing a better image and service.

“I think it’s a good product. It’ll put us on the cutting edge of technology,” Paulk said. “I am very conscientious and make sure we spend taxpayer’s money right.”

Desiree Carver is Lifestyles Editor at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 375-5777.

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