RACINE COUNTY -- Body cameras could soon be coming to the Racine County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff introduced a nearly $1 million plan in front of a county committee Wednesday evening, June 15th.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling demonstrated how those cameras would work. He says though it might be costly, the cameras are worth having on every deputy and correctional officer.
They are the moments the public rarely sees -- the perspective of an officer arriving to a scene. Sheriff Schmaling wants that to change.
"This is a time of accountability and transparency," said Schmaling.
Schmaling is asking the county to approve a $950,000 plan to provide 170 body cameras to the sheriff's office.
"I look at this also as a voice for our deputies and our correctional officers," said Schmaling.
Schmaling presented the plan to a county joint committee, while wearing a body camera himself to share his perspective.
The cameras are small and unassuming. The cost will cover the cameras and storage space for recordings. If approved, they will be worn by officers as they start a shift and record any interaction with the public.
"We need to move forward with this," said Finance and Human Resource Committee Chairperson, Q.A. Shakoor.
County supervisors say they are enthusiastic about the new tool.
"It will be something that will enhance and improve the quality of life for all," said Shakoor.
Law enforcement is hopeful the cameras will build trust.
"This is a fine example that law enforcement has nothing to hide," said Schmaling.
The county board will take a vote on this in July. If everything is approved, the sheriff's office will get the cameras by August and start using them by the end of the year.