NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Sarasota police say body cameras will improve transparency and help them better serve the community

Body cam
Posted at 6:24 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 18:24:45-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — After years of debate, Sarasota Police officers now have body cameras that they say will help them better serve the community.

In October, city commissioners voted unanimously to approve the more than $3 million body cam program.

The Sarasota Police Department now has 122 body cameras that officers are training to use.

They say officers will be required to activate their body-worn cameras as soon as they are assigned for any calls for service.

The cameras automatically activate if a weapon is drawn.

Sarasota police chief Jim Rieser says the cameras will help with accountability, public trust, and collecting evidence.

"I think we’ve moving in the right direction as far as the officers are concerned and the protection for the officers but its also protection for our community and our agency. I see this as a home run for the city of Sarasota," said Rieser.

The chief says to help with internal affairs they’ve hired a detective whose sole job is to watch body-worn camera footage.

All cameras are expected to be deployed by the end of May.