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Cameras in cruisers, on deputies a costly venture

Although putting body cameras on his deputies and dash cams in his cruisers would be the “ideal situation” for safety purposes in Trumbull County, Sheriff Paul Monroe said the actuality of these measures happening are slim because of the prohibitive costs involved.

Monroe said the initial outlay would be about $500,000 in startup costs for the cameras plus a “pretty steep” per month charge for data storage. Chief Deputy Joseph Dragovich said he had talked to several vendors who gave him the “costly quotes.”

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said his cruisers don’t have dash cameras, but about 50 of his deputies do have body cameras. Greene said the data retention costs for each camera is about $55 per month.

“So you do the math,” Green said about the yearly cost which amounts to about $33,000 per year.

In Trumbull County, both Dragovich and Monroe said the money could be better used elsewhere, like hiring more deputies or getting more cruisers.

Monroe said he wishes Trumbull County could afford the cameras because more often that not, they would show how much of a good job they are doing.

“Most times, in controversial situations, the cameras vindicate the police officers,” Monroe said. “We would be delighted to have that tool on our side.”

Read more in Sunday’s Tribune Chronicle.

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