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Ascension sheriff's office outfitting deputies with body cams next year

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The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office will soon be improving its ability to protect and serve by using body cameras.

For 20 years, Captain Darryl Smith has patrolled the streets of Ascension Parish. But beginning next year, there will be a big change to his daily routine.

"The new body-worn cameras are going to be a very effective, resourceful tool for the patrol deputies," Smith said.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office will outfit 100 deputies with V300 model Motorola brand body cams. Sheriff Bobby Webre says the cameras will be able to last throughout a 12-hour shift.

They're now planning for a test run with 20 deputies in the Donaldsonville area.

"That will be the trial time to make sure the technology interfaces well with our servers," Webre said.

Webre explained the video will be uploaded to a server, and can be stored for many years.

The cameras will cost about half-a-million dollars to roll out parish-wide.

"Now that does not include the storage and terabytes. There are terabytes of storage we need to purchase in order to store the video," Webre said.

It's the first time in the history of their Sheriff's Office that deputies will wear body cameras.
It's a show of transparency that Webre says is welcomed by many in the community.

"It will keep people from blaming the deputies for something they didn't do. I think it's a two-way street," resident, Sandy Cusick said.

Webre says all Ascension Parish deputies are expected to receive these body cameras by the end of 2021.

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