The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office is a step closer to equipping deputies with body cameras thanks to action by the Board of Commissioners on Monday.
Commissioners unanimously passed a $100,000 budget amendment to fund a dollar-for-dollar local match for a grant from the Body Worn Camera and Implementation Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. The sheriff’s office recently applied for and won the grant contingent on the local match.
The county will raise the matching funds through a change in the rate it charges the federal government to house inmates at the Pitt County Detention Center, a contract also approved on Thursday. The new contract is expected to increase revenues by about $210,000 annually, officials said.
The funding will pay for the procurement, hardware, software, warranty, replacement benefits and technical assistance associated with the purchase of the body cameras. The remaining $110,000 will cover the cost of data storage.
The funding will secure cameras for 80 deputies. A timetable for the purchase and deployment of the equipment will be set by Sheriff Paula Dance.
There are 120 deputies in the sheriff’s office, and the cameras for the remaining 40 officers will need to be approved in the budget for the next fiscal year, according to Brian Barnett, deputy county manager. The next fiscal year starts July 1.