Wise County deputies will now be equipped with body-worn cameras thanks to one Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles grant and two grants from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. These grants have provided funds to purchase cameras for deputies assigned to patrol, school resource, civil process, criminal investigations and court house security. Full implementation of the body-worn camera program is expected to be completed by February 2017.
Sheriff Oakes stated, “My deputies are expected to be complete professionals at all times. These cameras will help protect them from any false complaints, and the video captured will also help in the prosecution of cases. Wise County deputies assigned to the patrol division have utilized in-car cameras systems for years and will continue to do so. These body cameras will work in conjunction with the in-car camera.”
Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp stated, “We are excited by this announcement. The evidence preserved by officer body worn cameras provide us a great tool in the courtroom in prosecuting crime and maintains transparency for the public good. This move helps show everyone the great job that law enforcement does on a daily basis to keep us safe from crime. I am thankful for the leadership of Sheriff Oakes and his team in securing grant funds to implement this program.”