On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department announced a big change in the way it oversees detention officers in the county’s two jails: The department is implementing body-worn cameras in both the Greensboro and High Point jail.
Currently, the jails have surveillance cameras in select locations throughout, however, having body-cams on all the guards will offer a new level of oversight and accountability.
As part of the new body-worn camera program, guards on all shifts who work in a secured housing section will be required to wear a camera. These cameras will be recording any time a detention officer is face to face with an inmate.
The cameras won’t just be recording – they’ll also be broadcasting. The video feed will be available for supervisors to observe. Videos will also be saved in cloud storage each day.
A September 1 press release from the Sheriff’s Department stated that using the cameras will be beneficial for all involved.
Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers explained his reasoning behind the move.
“Safety is what these cameras are all about,” he stated in the press release. “Not only are they helping to protect our detention officers – by being able to go back and evaluate video, our officers are able to receive better training when it comes to interacting with inmates safely.”
The Guilford County Sheriff’s department purchased 105 body-worn cameras with money from a county technology fund after approval of the move by the Guilford County Commissioners last year.
The officers’ body worn cameras are being put into service this week with plans for them to be fully distributed by the end of September.
Who can or cannot observe the videos is covered by North Carolina General Statutes. A North Carolina Superior Court Judge has to approve an officer’s body worn camera video being released to the public,