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JSO Sheriff: Officers On Board With Body Cameras


Jacksonville police officers are on board with body cameras — that’s what Sheriff Mike Williams told a City Council committee Tuesday morning. A program requiring police to wear them is in the making.

Williams said he surveyed every officer on Jacksonville’s force at what’s called “roll call,” which JSO holds about three times a year.

“I can tell you that we are probably 90 percent in favor of body cameras,” Williams said.

He said most of the time officers are doing a good job and that will be captured on video. But if an officer does something wrong, that will be recorded as well.

“So we can take action against it,” he said.

Williams foresees a reduction in complaints against officers when they’re eventually made to wear cameras.

“Do the police officers act better because they’re wearing a camera or do the citizens act better because they know they’re on camera?” he said. “I think there’s probably a little bit of both.”

Williams has met with several body camera vendors, and five or six of them will participate in a pilot program he hopes to launch no later than spring.

He said he’ll use information gathered from the pilot, along with input from police and the community, to develop the JSO body camera policy. He said a big piece to figure out is how to manage video storage. 

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.