Verify: Bibb deputies will have body cameras by end of 2016

Verify: Bibb officer body cameras

After the Bibb County deputy involved shooting on Friday, we received a Facebook comment from Brandi Koone asking if Bibb deputies wear body cameras.

We reported back in June that they would be getting body cameras, so we checked into why Bibb officers still aren't wearing them. We asked Sheriff David Davis and verified that body cameras will be here by the end of the year.

“By the end of the year, we'll behind deploying them and getting all our people trained on them and trained on the policies,” said Davis.

He says that Bibb County is getting body cameras, but we wanted to verify why it has taken so long to get them.

“We did a very comprehensive study of what was out there,” said Davis.

He said that after looking at about 20 vendors, they decided on Taser International earlier this year. Since then, they have just been waiting for the cameras and installing the software.

“We are getting them in now. We're cataloging them, but we're not at the point where we can issue them out because the deputies be trained in their use,” said Davis.

He says they should all be in within the next few weeks, and then Taser International will come to train the officers on how to use the cameras.

“Get them in the habit of knowing that this thing is there, knowing that this tool is on their chest, and that they need to turn it on and turn it off at the appropriate times,” said Davis.

We were able to verify that for an agency this large, this is how long the process normally takes.

“A lot of agencies have sort of run past us in their body camera program because they had fewer deputies they needed to outfit,” said Davis.

He says the project cost $3 million, and all officers will get a body camera.

As far as getting access to the body camera footage, we were told that the public will be able to get the footage just like open records requests.

“If it's part of an open and ongoing investigation, then it probably wouldn’t be released until the investigation is complete,” said Davis.

Special Agent J.T. Ricketson says the earliest the GBI could do an autopsy on the body of Larry Daniel Matthews would be Tuesday since Monday is a state holiday.

Ricketson says they are currently investigating a Facebook live video that a neighbor took of the altercation.

Mary Grace Shaw, 13WMAZ


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