PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is taking a huge step forward in transparency, with the introduction of body cameras and dash cameras for all of its deputies.
This week, the sheriff’s department started the process of getting body cams to each of its about 300 deputies, as well as adding dash cams to patrol cars.
"The department wanted to have transparency with the public. We want to build trust with the public. So, we think it’s a great time to have body cameras," said Sergeant Darren Moss.
Over the next three weeks, deputies have the chance to take a five-hour training course learning how to use the new technology. These courses are offered twice a day.
As soon as a deputy completes the course, they are on the street with their new body camera.
Some members of the community believe this change will help rebuild relations between law enforcement and the community
"I think this is a great day for Pierce County. It's a great day for the sheriff’s department. I think the people can look at the sheriff’s department with some level of confidence that they didn’t have in the past because the dashboard cameras are here now," said Will Hausa.
Hausa is with the Washington State Commission on African American affairs. He also lives here in Pierce County.
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Hausa says after a rough couple of years between law enforcement and the community in the South Sound, this is a big step forward.
"Body cameras provide just that level of security and confidence with the public, that they know they will be treated fairly," he said.
The cameras are expected to be fully deployed by the end of the month.
Pierce County council approved the use of body cameras and dash cameras earlier this year.
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