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Sidney Police Officers start wearing body cameras

Sidney Police Officers Wearing Body Cameras (WKEF/WRGT)

SIDNEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)- Starting Tuesday, every Sidney Police Officer hitting the street will now have a body camera as part of their daily uniform.

Sidney Police Chief William Balling says the cameras will benefit the officers as well as anyone they deal with from the public.

We talked with Angie Connell in front of the Shelby County Courthouse. Connell had not heard about the body camera program.

"I am excited to hear about that. I think it's a great idea," Connell said.

Connell thinks body cameras should be worn by all law enforcement officers.

"I really do. I think it protects everybody. It protects the police and it protects the people the police are talking to," Connell said.

Chief Balling says the department started looking at getting body cameras after several high profile police shootings around the nation including the one in Ferguson, Missouri.

"I really see nothing but good from the officer's standpoint and the citizen's standpoint," Chief Balling said.

Chief Balling says studies show body cameras can reduce 'use of force' incidents and complaints against officers. He also thinks they will improve the officers' performance.

"We're constantly evaluating. We're looking is there something better we can do from our standpoint? So now we have a way to train a little bit better and review those incidents," Chief Balling said.

About half of the $46,000 cost to buy the 36 cameras is coming from the city, the other half is from a grant from the state. There is another $21,000 needed for storage space for all the footage.

The cameras automatically begin recording when a police cruiser's lights are activated. An officer can also start the recording at any time.

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