Woodbury County Sheriff's Department goes high tech - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Woodbury County Sheriff's Department goes high tech

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

The Woodbury County Sheriff's Department is the largest agency in Iowa to roll out on-body cameras. More than 100 agencies in the country are already using this kind of technology. 

Wednesday, deputies and correctional officers with the department began training with these new kinds of cameras.

"Technology's always advancing. With this, it's just another tool that benefits the officer," Zane Chwirka, Deputy with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Department, said.

The flex cam can hold up to 9 hours of video and officers can attach the camera to their glasses, hat, or collar. It just takes two taps to to start the recording.

Chwirka said before these cameras, the relied on audio only. Now, they will able to refer to both, audio and visuals..

"For officer safety, with whatever situation we're dealing with, whether it's combative suspect, or just dealing with a witness, who has been part of a crime," Chwirka said.

Once, the video is recorded, Taser International Field Service Representative Josh Durr said it then has to be uploaded to Evidence.com.

"It's all controlled by the department itself. They can play it back, download it, share it with other individuals inside the agency or share it externally, if needed," Durr said.

Chwirka said it may take a little bit of time getting used to the new technology, but it's worth it in the long-run.

"It's just, so to speak, like "Big Brother" watching. It's only there to benefit us. I mean if we're doing something wrong, which we shouldn't be doing anyways. So it's only there to record the things that we do and we take our jobs very seriously, and we're professionals," Chwirka said.

With every incident being recorded, authorities say they will be able to refer to these kinds of videos, if and when any kind of litigation arises.

The new cameras cost about $50,000 and were paid for by a federal grant.

The Sheriff's Department said it's giving deputies and correctional officers about a month to get used to the new gear.

By June, it will be expected for officers to use them and wear them on a daily basis.

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