EASLEY — The Easley Police Department will soon be implementing a new form of technology to better assist their officers: body cameras.
“We have them here, but under the new state law, our policy has to be approved by the state law enforcement training camps,” said Easley Police Chief Tim Tollison. “So that’s where we’re standing at right now.”
According to Tollison, the cameras are set to be issued to all 34 “road officers” once their policies have been finalized and approved.
In June 2015, Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law a bill that would require all law enforcement agencies to wear body cameras as well as to draft policies on which officers would wear the cameras, how video from the cameras would be stored and when officers should and should not be recording.
The bill came after the April 2015 shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston by police officer Michael Slager. Slager was charged with murder and is currently awaiting trial.
Despite the new law, most police agencies in the state do not yet have body cameras as the state funding for the devices has yet to be put into place although a funding pool has been established within the Department of Public Safety.
According to officials at the Department of Public Safety, they are estimating the cost to be around $23 million (statewide) for the first two years alone.
Tollison said that the officers could begin wearing the cameras as soon as next month.
“It’s a tentative February, March at the latest,” he said.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.