Sarasota Police Department to outfit officers with body-worn cameras in a pilot program

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino says body-worn cameras could be the future of policing. "It will modify the behavior of the officers, and also of the individuals."

The department is launching a pilot program, where twenty four officers will be outfitted with cameras during their regular shifts. "In no way would it be that our officers are trying to sneak up and try to capture conversations. This is for police officers that are in uniform, and there will be specific guidelines for them to follow."

Sarasota security retailer Steve Parsloe sells covert cameras to law enforcement officials, and their civilian counterparts. "If you want to stay protected in this dangerous world, you've got to go with the times and go with video."

Surveillance experts at Mr. Security say cameras everywhere isn't anything new- and if you're going out of the house to a bank or even just down the street, chances are somebody is recording it.

"If I traveled thirty miles in London, back in 2010, I'd be on camera 730 times,” said Parsloe, who owns Mr. Security.

And with cameras at red lights, and in the hands of every person in America, DiPino sees the necessity in showing the police officer's perspective. "I believe ultimately it’s going to make our police officers safer, and make our community safer."

The police department's pilot program will cost $36,645 for 24 cameras.

If the year-long trial run is effective, officials say they will look into expanding cameras across the department.

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