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North Port Officers starting to wear body cameras

Posted at 2:45 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 18:49:37-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — The North Port Police Department is the latest Tampa Bay area police department to wear body cameras.

Deputy Chief Chris Morales said the department invested $1 million into the five-year program. Officers started wearing the cameras this week.

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“I can look back on the camera and see exactly what someone said, I can notate that in case it goes to court later,” said Officer Scott Guzman.

The cameras are worn on the front of an officer's uniform. They are about the size of a credit card and they see what an officer sees.

“People do say 'I’m recording you.' Well sir I am recording you too, this stop is being recorded and being reviewed by my agency,” said Guzman.

Morales said the cameras already exonerated an officer who received a citizen complaint.

“A citizen called in and said the officer was belligerent to her,” said Morales. He had the body worn camera on him and at no time did that officer use vulgar language.”

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office also wears body cameras.