Sheriff’s Office using grant money to upgrade camera system

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 4:55 PM CST
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POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office is looking to improve its body and vehicle camera system.

The new equipment comes as the state awarded $7 million worth of grants to area law enforcement agencies.

The sheriff’s office was awarded $100,000 as part of the grants from the state.

Sheriff Kevin Bell said he’ll use the money to update his team’s current body and vehicle cameras system to what’s known as WatchGuard.

“The WatchGuard System is a cloud-based storage system,” Sheriff Bell said. “The body cameras and truck cameras are integrated together, so it’s one system. Compared to what we have now, it’s two systems.”

Sheriff Bell stressed the current system would not go to waste.

“We’ll use the existing cameras we have and put those in some part-time vehicles and jail transport vehicles so that the entire fleet, hopefully by the end of this project, will be equipped with a video camera and a body cam system.”

The WatchGuard system will cost more than what was given by the state, but the sheriff said he was thankful, nonetheless.

“The total price tag on the project was $147,000. We’re very grateful and thankful to get the $100,000 to work on that project.”

Bell explained the remainder of the money would come from the county.

“We’ll be able to use some of the existing money in the budget that we have. The surplus money that was left over from this year, hopefully, we can use some of that money to be able to complete that project.”

He said there could be a delay in receiving the equipment due to supply chain issues, but he hopes to have the new system up and running by the end of 2023.