APSO hopes to have body cams for deputies by early 2021

Ascension Parish sheriff wants his deputies to be equipped with body cams by 2021

ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Officials with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office have announced plans to implement the use of body cameras by their deputies throughout the parish.

Sheriff Bobby Webre said he wants to do things the right way with strongest standards and protocols.

“It’s moving this department forward and building on the success that we had and we feel we are a highly trained sheriff’s office, we feel we are held to a higher degree of accountability and our deputies know what we do,” Webre said.

Sheriff Webre said the goal is to have every deputy outfitted by the end of 2021. He says 20 deputies stationed in Donaldsonville will be the first to receive them and hopes to have them equipped by the start of next year.

“We think it will help with officer safety, we think that it will help with accountability, not just on our part, the citizens part also,” he said.

The move to outfit his department with the cameras drew praise from Louisiana NAACP President Mike McClanahan. He said it will go a long way toward building trust with the people Sheriff Webre serves.

“It takes the human element out of it in terms of police officers who want to do the wrong thing,” McClanahan said. “Not saying that all police officers are bad but there are a few. The human element, racism, discrimination, hatred, bigotry, it’s all part of the human element and if we can mitigate that by having body cameras then that puts the community at ease when something happens. Let’s go to the camera, let’s go to the tv to see what happens.”

The estimated cost for the parish-wide plan is about half a million dollars.

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