State providing $5.8 million to law enforcement for body cameras - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

State providing $5.8 million to law enforcement for body cameras

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety will reimburse agencies for the purchase of body cameras. (Source: WMBF News) The South Carolina Department of Public Safety will reimburse agencies for the purchase of body cameras. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The state's top law enforcement agency is giving nearly $5.8 million to eligible law enforcement agencies across South Carolina for body cameras, including tens of thousands of dollars to Grand Strand and Pee Dee departments. 

The agencies will receive the money within 30 to 45 days after sending their signed cash award document back to the state. 

The South Carolina Public Safety Coordinating Council was charged with distributing these funds through the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. Agencies across the state were allowed to submit applications requesting funding for the body cameras and everything needed with them. 

Sgt. Bob Beres with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said of the 164 law enforcement agencies and four solicitors offices that applied, all of them will receive funding, which is both for new equipment and equipment costs dating back to July 2012.

While law enforcement agencies are awaiting their share of the body camera funding, Beres said SCDPS is anticipating the general assembly will authorize recurring funds of $2.4 million in 2018 and agencies will be able to apply for those funds towards the end of this year. 

The funding is something Coastal Carolina University's public safety department greatly appreciates. 

"It is very expensive," Capt. Thom Mezzapelle said. "It isn't just the cameras. You've got to have the software, which pulls it in and protects it and makes it good evidence. And you have to have storage for it because we have to keep it for a certain amount of time, and you have to have backup for that storage because you don't want to lose it from having it in one place."  

The public safety department at CCU is receiving $24,000 from the state for cameras Mezzapelle said the department has already purchased. 

He added that, while expensive, the cameras have proven to be useful in more ways than one. 

"It gives us another perspective," Mezzapelle said. "Obviously we have the car camera running, but this gives us a perspective closer, right up to the person's actual presence."  

For search warrants, Mezzapelle said the cameras can pick up things officers may miss the first time, and, of course, they can help in any situation with escalated circumstances. 

"An incidence where you're dealing with somebody who is maybe not completely rational, it gives you another perspective to be able to try and figure out exactly what's going on," he said. 

Here is a complete list of area agencies and the amount of funding they will receive, as provided by the SCDPS:

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.
 

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Businesses creeping closer and closer to the edge of U.S. 501

    Businesses creeping closer and closer to the edge of U.S. 501

    Wednesday, April 26 2017 11:40 PM EDT2017-04-27 03:40:16 GMT
    Horry County is enforcing its encroachment rule along U.S. 501. (Source: WMBF News)Horry County is enforcing its encroachment rule along U.S. 501. (Source: WMBF News)

    The Horry County Planning and Zoning Department announced that it will be working closely with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to more heavily enforce encroachment rules, particularly along U.S. 501.

    More >>

    The Horry County Planning and Zoning Department announced that it will be working closely with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to more heavily enforce encroachment rules, particularly along U.S. 501.

    More >>
  • Pelicans win third straight

    Pelicans win third straight

    Wednesday, April 26 2017 11:40 PM EDT2017-04-27 03:40:02 GMT
    Pelicans go for the Sweep of Wilmington Thursday. (Source: WMBF Sports)Pelicans go for the Sweep of Wilmington Thursday. (Source: WMBF Sports)

    Jesse Hodges homered and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans erupted in the first two innings of Wednesday's contest, coasting past the Wilmington Blue Rocks 7-3 at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

    More >>

    Jesse Hodges homered and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans erupted in the first two innings of Wednesday's contest, coasting past the Wilmington Blue Rocks 7-3 at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

    More >>
  • Mother says son was suspended for playing with blocks in the shape of a gun

    Mother says son was suspended for playing with blocks in the shape of a gun

    Wednesday, April 26 2017 10:40 PM EDT2017-04-27 02:40:09 GMT
    A copy of the discipline report given to the student's mother. (Source: Amy Lipman)A copy of the discipline report given to the student's mother. (Source: Amy Lipman)

    A mother is upset after she says her six-year-old son was suspended from Forestbrook elementary for playing with blocks in the shape of a gun. Brittney O’Brien says she got a call yesterday morning that she needed to come pick her son up from school for a one-day suspension for pointing blocks in the shape of a gun at another student.

    More >>

    A mother is upset after she says her six-year-old son was suspended from Forestbrook elementary for playing with blocks in the shape of a gun. Brittney O’Brien says she got a call yesterday morning that she needed to come pick her son up from school for a one-day suspension for pointing blocks in the shape of a gun at another student.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly