Campaign Promises: Lopinto on body cameras for deputies - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Campaign Promises: Lopinto on body cameras for deputies

Source: Fox 8 Source: Fox 8
JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) -

Nationally, body cameras have been a topic of discussion when it comes to holding officer’s accountable during their shifts.

During a town hall in February, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto was asked whether or not he supported Jefferson Parish deputies wearing body camera.

The short answer was no.

Body cameras "don't give you an accurate depiction," Fortunato said, explaining that the camera is pointed forward and doesn't capture any action or threat that may be on the deputy's periphery or behind them. "It's tunnel vision,"

The department has more work to do in determining how the videos would be used in the court system and how long the Sheriff's Office would have to maintain the records, according to the report by NOLA.com.

The problem, according to Lopinto, is the cost. The equipment itself would cost about $500,000. But the Sheriff's Office would also have to pay for computer equipment and manpower to monitor and maintain the video. There's also questions about how the state's public records laws would affect video distribution.

Out of 400,000 calls to service in a year, Lopinto said only about 55 calls involved the use of force such as pepper spray, Tasers or firearms.

"I don't think we're ready for body cameras, nor can we afford them," Lopinto said.

Lopinto beat his opponent and former JPSO spokesperson John Fortunato during a special election March 24.

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