SARASOTA, Fla. – February 20, 2015 – 9:45 a.m.
Chief Bernadette DiPino and the Sarasota Police Department began researching the body-worn cameras in October 2013. In June 2014, the Sarasota Police Department used a federal grant from the United States Department of Justice to purchase 24 Taser AXON Flex body-worn video cameras to be used by Sarasota Police Officers working in the Patrol Division during a year-long test phase.
The body worn cameras arrived in early 2015 and Sarasota Police Officers have been trained on the body worn cameras by both instructors from Taser and Sarasota Police training instructors. Six body cameras will be used on each of the four shifts equaling 24 cameras total during the test phase.
"I am an advocate for body worn cameras for our officers," said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. "This is just another way we want to continue to work to earn the trust of our community. The Sarasota Police Department is a progressive, modern police department and the use of body worn cameras is a natural progression and extension of our philosophy of building trust and transparency," said Chief DiPino. "I believe body worn cameras modify behavior, ultimately making our officers and our citizens safer."
All media outlets are invited to attend a Media Day being held on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Community Room of the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.
The Sarasota Police Department also plans to hold several community meetings in March for residents and community partners to give them a chance to learn about the body worn cameras.