Alpena deputies to wear body worn cameras

Sheriff Steven J. Kieliszewski has announced that beginning Thursday 12 deputies will begin wearing body worn cameras and be recording audio/visual interactions with residents. Deputies currently are being trained on using this new equipment and learning the important policies and procedures essential to the success of the new program.

The Alpena County Sheriff’s Office has entered into a no-cost one year trial agreement with Axon, formerly TASER International, for 12 body worn cameras, docking stations, and data storage. Initially, the department will be using these cameras with an emphasis on evaluating the equipment, technical support, and data storage requirements. There are several aspects of this new system that need to be evaluated by the sheriff’s office and also the prosecutor’s office in regards to audio/visual recording for sharing evidence and court testimony.

Body cameras are viewed as a valuable asset intended to assist deputies in the prosecution of certain offenders by augmenting a deputies’ testimony with a video/audio record of the incident. Additionally, this equipment will enable office administrators to conduct periodic reviews of deputy-citizen contacts for quality control purposes and aid in the investigation of citizen complaints. These cameras provide another level of transparency to the public, which is important to Kieliszewski.

“The Alpena County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing the highest level of law enforcement service to the residents of Alpena County,” the department stated in a press release. “In implementing the body worn camera program it demonstrates not only the Sheriff’s Office commitment to the community, but also the commitment of the dedicated deputies who serve our citizens, day in and day out, with honesty and integrity.

The sheriff’s office plans to provide more information as it rolls out this program. You can follow it on its Facebook page, Alpena County Sheriff’s Office, to read up on all new updates.