JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Phase one of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's police body camera program has begun, the agency announced Thursday afternoon.
Police made the announcement less than 24 hours after a shooting involving an officer in Northwest Jacksonville, which stemmed from a carjacking. Investigators said a man failed to comply with an officer's demands and was fatally wounded.
The body cameras were in the works for more than a year. JSO launched a pilot program to test cameras several months after town hall meetings in 2017. There were three test phases, with the last ending in May of 2018.
JSO had hoped to officially roll out the body cameras by September, but the police union needed to iron out details of the policy. It says the program will lead to enhanced accountability and public trust. The cameras will provide additional evidence for certain court cases, and help officers detail a timeline while writing repots.
The Sheriff's Office is expecting to issue roughly 200 body cameras in the first quarter of 2019. It received a $997,000 in September of 2017 to help with funding.