Home » Grant equips Webster Parish SROs with body cameras

Grant equips Webster Parish SROs with body cameras

by Minden Press-Herald

In a move toward bolstering transparency and accountability within the Webster Parish public school system, School Resource Officers (SROs) have been equipped with new body cameras. The initiative, spearheaded by the Parish Emergency Management Advisory Committee, culminated in the acquisition of 15 Axon Body 2 cameras, funded through grants totaling over $11,000.00.

“This puts all the SROs on the same page with their body cameras, which helps the school board as well,” remarked Chief Jared McIver of the Minden Police Department, underscoring the importance of uniformity in equipping officers.

The Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security facilitated the procurement process, with Superintendent Johnny Rowland expressing profound gratitude, stating, “We are extremely appreciative! Body cams add another layer of transparency and accountability. We consider this to be a WIN WIN for law enforcement, students/parents as well as employees.”

Echoing these sentiments, Sheriff Jason Parker emphasized the paramount importance of transparency in law enforcement activities, particularly within educational settings. “Our officers, the public, and the school system need to know the facts if there’s an incident on school grounds,” Sheriff Parker asserted. “There’s really no better evidence than video evidence, and our SROs know the importance of recording any incident, especially those on campus.”

Chief McIver highlighted the multifaceted benefits of body cameras, including their utility in training, evidence collection, and incident review. “With cameras, there are so many positive benefits. It gives everyone accountability because we can go back and watch the footage,” he explained. “It helps with future training; we can go back and look at how situations were handled, and see how we can do it better.”

Moreover, McIver emphasized the instrumental role of body cameras in ensuring the safety and well-being of students and faculty. He noted that cameras that SROs from the police department were already issued will return to the department to be used as replacements, indicating a seamless transition towards enhanced surveillance capabilities.

The deployment of body cameras represents a proactive measure aimed at fostering trust and confidence within the community while augmenting the effectiveness of law enforcement operations. By embracing technology as a tool for accountability, Webster Parish demonstrates its commitment to promoting a safe and conducive learning environment for all stakeholders.

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