Washington County Receives Federal Grant for Body and Dash Cams

West Bend, Wis. (March 23, 2022) – After nearly a year of collaboration and support from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will receive a $377,000 grant for the Obtaining the necessary equipment and data storage for the body – worn-out cameras for sheriff’s deputies, as well as dash cams for squad cars.

“Funding this much-needed equipment is an example of bipartisan action,” said County Executive Josh Schoemann. “Rather than burden Washington County taxpayers with this expensive but necessary cost, purchasing this assignment shares the cost with taxpayers around the country, many of whom travel to and visit our county. I am very proud of our team and their working relationship with Senator Baldwin, who got the Senate to pass the funding, which was ultimately signed by President Biden.

County Sheriff Martin R. Schulteis said, “Body cameras allow the community to see exactly what officers are doing and promote transparency with the public we serve. The cameras improve both the performance of officers and the conduct of civilians; individuals act differently when they know they are being recorded.

According to Sheriff Schulteis, this technology has many advantages. Body-worn cameras reinforce accountability. By recording interactions between officers and the public, both are held accountable for their actions during the encounter. Allegations of excessive force, officer misconduct and citizen complaints can be proven or disproven after reviewing camera footage.

Body-worn cameras also record events and dialogue exactly as they occur and provide an unbiased account to law enforcement and the public. Additionally, one area that is often overlooked is the training and development of assistants. When reviewing footage, assistants can identify areas for improvement needed, including tactics, interview techniques, de-escalation, interpersonal skills, and more.

Now that the president has signed the bill into law, the Senate and House Appropriations Committees will provide relevant agencies with a list of funded projects as spending requests directed by Congress. Agencies are then required to produce an application that recipients must complete. Once the application is completed and approved by the agency, funding processing can begin. All equipment will be installed in 2022.

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