Assumption Parish debut new body cameras for all patrol deputies and detectives

Law enforcement in Assumption Parish using body cameras

ASSUMPTION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A simulated traffic stop gives Assumption Parish Sheriff's Dep. Arthur Flot an important new look at writing a ticket.

A new tool for the sheriff's office could change how deputies interact with the public. Tuesday, the sheriff's office showed off new body cameras for all patrol deputies and detectives.

"It will allow the officers to essentially police themselves. They will be more aware of how they're interacting with public," said Dep. Robert Martin.

The cameras are smaller than an iPhone and will be worn on the chest or collar.

"It's real comfortable. You can adjust it for your preference," said Dep. Flot.

New policy says they will be used during all public contact. Once the camera is turned on, every second is being archived and deputies cannot delete or edit anything, but they can look at the video on their phone or on a computer.

"I think it's a great idea. They'll be able to go back and look at these cameras and see exactly what went on and that leaves no doubt what really happened," said Dan Boudreaux, owner of Ace Hardware in Napoleanville.

"I think it's invading people's privacy because if you're going to be right you're going to be right anyway. Why do you need a body camera to support what you say if you know you're telling the truth," said Selicka Butler from Napoleonville.

The body camera discussion is being thrust into the national spotlight following the high-profile case of Michael Brown, the teen who was shot and killed last year by a Ferguson, MO police officer following a scuffle.

While President Obama is asking Congress for over $260 million to put body cameras on 50,000 police officers across the country, the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office wrote a check last year for $17,000 for their 31 cameras.

"They're not the cheapest things in the world but it's something that we needed to get to eventually. In-car camera systems have their limitations, limited point-of-view. This allows officers to record all their interactions with the public," said Dep. Martin.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.