Demand that all Police Officers in St. Johns County wear a body camera.

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Currently, no officers in St. Johns County, including SJCSO, SAPD or SABPD wear body cameras - and have previously spoken out in opposition. In our neighboring counties of Putnam and Duval, they have successfully implemented body cameras. In a time where trust has been broken between civilians and police, we should urge our county to do the same. Not only do body cameras hold police officers accountable to their sworn duty to protect and serve us as residents, but footage can be helpful to the officers: 

Capt. Matt Newcomb of the Palatka Police Department said there have been fewer complaints against officers since the cameras were implemented. “Cameras help with all the miscellaneous complaints that have no validation. We can explain what happened,” Newcomb said. “It curbs the behavior of the public. Nobody wants to be recorded and be recorded acting like a jerk.” Newcomb said officers can watch the videos on their smartphones. “It really helps them from a recall perspective. It helps with the report writing,” Newcomb said.

Implementing body cameras for all St. Johns County police officers seems like a no-brainer - it would benefit both residents and officers. And during this time of distress in our country, this would be a wonderful first step to re-establish trust between residents and police officers.