LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - The body cameras worn by law enforcement officers can often be a significant source of what really happens on a crime scene.
Just recently, the Madison County DA's Office used body camera video to breakdown the deadly shooting of Dana Fletcher. Limestone County Sheriff's deputies find value in body cams too.
The Fletcher case sparked a conversation about the release of body camera footage. That fact was watched closely by other law enforcement agencies.
"They're often the very large piece to the puzzle to what happens on a scene," said Limestone County Sheriff's Deputy Stephen Young.
Just this week, Limestone County commissioners voted to replace the department's existing body cams with 38 newer models. Limestone deputies say the new body cams will have longer battery life and higher resolution.
"We do work 12-hour shifts on patrol and sometimes it becomes an issue of keeping the battery charged if they're out for a long period of time," said Young.
The sheriff's department will lease from a company called Axon, a self-defense technology company. While it's unclear what Axon model sheriff deputies will get, there is an enhanced model. The Axon Body 3 camera has real-time features like live streaming, enhanced low-light performance, and reduced motion blur.
"Body cameras are a very important tool," said Young.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics says there are 18,000 law enforcement agencies, but fewer than half are equipped with body cameras.
Limestone County commissioners are looking at a $26,000 price tag to lease 38 new body cameras to the Limestone County Sheriff's Department.