Registered Agency Profile: Jefferson Co. Nebraska Sheriff’s Office

JCN SO body camera donationsRegistered Agency: Jefferson County Nebraska Sheriff’s Office

Agency Donation Effort Contact: Sheriff Nels Sorensen

Link: Department Website 

Number of officers: 9

Body Camera Goal: 9

Click here to donate to this department

Why has your Agency decided to start a body camera program?
Sheriff Sorenson: We’ve had in Car Cameras for years and body cameras are just the next step in technology. Body cameras won’t see everything, but once you get away from the car, they will capture the lions share of what happened. Also they will help with our accountability in this day and age where if it’s not captured on video, it didn’t happen.

How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community?
Sheriff Sorenson: It provides accountability for our officers and the public, today everyone has a camera in their phone… body cameras would help us be more accountable in a variety of instances instead of having to rely on different conflicting stories of what happened.

Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Sheriff Sorenson: I can think of several cases where they would have been helpful. Recently some of our officers were executing a search warrant and had a suspect come out of a closet where he was hiding and committed suicide right in front of them. Body cameras would have been helpful in capturing exactly what happened. Body cameras can also be helpful as a training tool to help us review and do our jobs better.

Does your department have guidelines for a body camera policy? If so, what would the policy be? When would officers be required to record, etc.?
Sheriff Sorenson: We have models we’re adjusting to our office and we’re about 90% complete. We have guidelines of when we would have to use them. Basically they would be used to record all interactions with citizens in carrying out our official duties. The policy would cover all of the requirements of our state legislation for body camera use.