Greensboro, NC - The list of mandatory items law enforcement officers have to carry reads like a hardware store shopping list. It includes guns, tasers, pepper spray and handcuffs.
But wait, there's more - some Triad officers in Guilford County are wearing cameras.
These extra eyes for deputies are clip-on cameras and they also assist officers when presenting their case in court. The Guilford County Sheriff's Office has purchased 10 at $850 a piece. They are used for the DWI Task Force, but hope to eventually find funding to give one to all their field deputies. They were paid for with a state grant.
Greensboro Police have 125 on-officer camera systems but officers are not currently using them in the field. A GPD spokesperson says the department is working on a few technical issues but is beginning to put some of the cameras in the field. The devices cost $1,185 a piece and were paid for with money from a federal stimulus grant.
READ: Greensboro Police to Wear Small Video Cameras
WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower spoke to officers who use these cameras.
"This is probably the number one piece of equipment I use on a day-to-day basis. As I said, I go out on a traffic spot, and almost 100% of the traffic stops I'm involved with, this camera goes on at some point," explained Master Corporal Brian Stokes, Guilford County Sheriff's Office.
Stokes is a member of the Guilford County DWI Task Force. He says the cameras are an invaluable resource for officers.
"The purpose of the camera is to use as evidence in court, should the person come in and plead not guilty and says he acted one way or acted the other, then they can actually show and the judge and jury can see exactly what the person said did, and how they acted," said Colonel Randy Powers, Guilford County Sheriff's Office.
The cameras that both GPD and the DWI Task Force use store video on a secure server. The recorded video and audio can be used in court as evidence.
GPD want to purchase another 125 to 150 on-officer cameras so every patrol officer can have one. It will cost $150,000 and the department plans to raise that money through the "Greensboro Police Foundation."
WFMY News 2