VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — What do you think of the new policy that the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office (VBSO) is adopting about the use of body-worn cameras by sheriff's deputies?
According to Kathy Hieatt, a spokesperson for VBSO, the Virginia Beach City Council has already provided the necessary funds in March for 220 cameras for the VBSO and has authorized funding for an additional 280 cameras to be made available on July 1. She said that this is enough for each of its 400 sworn deputy sheriffs to be issued a camera.
However, the VBSO is required by Virginia law to ask for public input about how they will distribute and use body-worn cameras before actually doing so.
The agency has posted the draft policy on its website. You can then submit your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hieatt said they'll be collecting comments until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2023.
According to Hieatt, they want to have the cameras deployed ahead of the summer tourism season and upcoming events, including the Something the Water festival, while pointing out that VBSO deputies serve as "force multipliers" for the Virginia Beach Police Department.
She said: "The VBSO requested the body-worn cameras to improve safety and accountability for both the public and its deputies as they execute their public safety mission both inside and outside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center."