The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is in the process of buying 200 body cameras that it expects to have its officers wear by the end of next year.
JSO hopes body cameras will help hold officers and citizens accountable and increase public trust. The body cameras are also expected to help capture evidence for court cases, help officers accurately write reports, serve as a training tool for officer safety and assist in the assessment of contact between officers and citizens, according to a press release released overnight Thursday.
Earlier this week, JSO said it completed their three-phased body camera pilot program in May, which had 30 officers test them out to see how they work.
JSO said it was awarded $997,956 in a grant by the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the body cameras, which was approved in their 2018 budget. JSO said it plans to issue 200 devices with the funds as early as September.
Officers who receive the cameras will receive training with the equipment. The cameras will be dispersed among patrol officers in all six districts.
There has not been funding budgeted for the fiscal year 2020, and Tony Davis, director of the program, said they anticipate it being more expensive than the first grant.
"With everything that's going on I think it would be a good thing for them to have that," said Frizella Taylor, a resident.
Once JSO completes the procurement process with the city and makes a deal with a vendor, JSO will start sending officers with cameras.