New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-10-20 04:00:00 –
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has for some time been the largest law enforcement agency without body and vehicle cameras. In an announcement that surprised many, Sheriff Joe Lopinto said he would change it by the end of the year.
During an event with the Jefferson Parish Democratic Executive Committee last week, Lopinto and the committee knew he was going to talk about cameras. Only Lopinto knew that he would announce the news when he said he had signed a contract with the parish law enforcement agency to add 500 body cameras and 277 vehicle cameras.
He tested the technology of several companies for all the attention to law enforcement agencies that use cameras as the logical next step, and for all the pushbacks that Lopinto got because he wasn’t using cameras. We saw how each works earlier this year. In June, he made the decision by choosing Axon, formerly known as TASER. Axon has technical contracts with police stations in New Orleans, Alabama and Mobile.
Adding body and vehicle cameras, and video storage is a big move for law enforcement agencies of all sizes. This is a particular problem for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, as the unit is receiving a lot of attention because the camera is not used. Lopinto hopes the office will receive the camera within two weeks so that it can start training for the December implementation.
The sheriff’s wise decision will advance the cause of office transparency as Jefferson’s parish representative wears and begins to use the camera. Like many other resources, recorded cameras and videos are tools for improving law enforcement and building trust in those responsible for our safety.
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