All Carroll County sheriff’s deputies will be outfitted with body-worn and in-car cameras with the aid of a $1.4 million federal grant.
The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 was enacted by the General Assembly to bring changes to law enforcement throughout the state. Among other requirements, it states all law enforcement agencies in Maryland must provide officers who regularly interact with members of the public as part of their official duties with a body-worn camera by 2025.
At a Thursday meeting, the Board of County Commissioners approved a request from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office to accept a congressional earmark awarded to fund the purchase of body-worn cameras, in-car cameras, video storage and related equipment for all deputies.
The sheriff’s office applied for the funds last spring, said Deborah Standiford, grant manager for the county.
“They were awarded that earmark in full … through the Byrne Justice Assistance program,” she said. “The total earmark awarded is $1,429,000 and there is no county match required.”
Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees said his office is fortunate to receive the funding.
“Smartly, we collectively decided we would apply for this earmark through Congressman [Jamie] Raskin’s office,” he said. “This will pay for everything hardware-wise for the next five years. … Having this equipment is extremely, vitally important to us.”
DeWees said once the department officially receives the funds, it can begin buying equipment, hiring personnel and setting up offices.
“This is not an easy task. It’s going to take us some time,” he said. “We’re talking about a total system that’ll capture everything it needs to capture.”
DeWees added he believes they’ll be “a little ahead of the curve by a year” of the 2025 mandate.
“We like the in-car camera in conjunction with the body-worn camera,” he said, because it can provide footage with angles that may not be captured by the body camera.