Bernalillo County sheriff still not on board with lapel cameras | KOB 4
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Bernalillo County sheriff still not on board with lapel cameras

Kai Porter
November 28, 2017 06:23 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Despite nine deputy-involved shootings this year, the Bernalillo County sheriff still doesn’t believe having his deputies wear lapel cameras would be worthwhile.

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It's an answer Sheriff Manuel Gonzales has given before when asked why he doesn't require his deputies wear lapel cameras when other law enforcement agencies like APD use the body-worn cameras.

"Nobody has ever provided me with evidence that body-worn cameras keep deputies or the public safer," he said during a news conference on the latest deputy-involved shooting Tuesday morning.

Gonzales prepared himself for the question. He held up a chart, saying it shows crime has continued to go up even after APD implemented lapel cameras in 2010.

"I'm not going to water down our deputies' ability to do their job by making them apprehensive like the APD officers are right now and feel untrusted," he said. "And having them use some of their time administratively, literally thousands and thousands of man-hours of administrative time, downloading video versus serving the people."

KOB asked Gonzales if he thinks lapel cameras would at least assist in investigating deputy-involved shootings.

"I went to a conference in Philadelphia, and one of the chiefs went up there and spoke about body-worn cameras," Gonzales said. "And he's saying it's not changing the behaviors of the criminals or the officers, and so I don't know how much value there is for the prosecution."

KOB reached out to all five county commissioners to get their take on the issue and asked if the commission had the authority to implement lapel cameras in BCSO. Commissioner Wayne Johnson said the commission doesn't have the authority to force Gonzales to start using lapel cameras.

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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