Randolph County Jail begins use of body cameras

RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Body cameras have been put in use for on-duty officers inside of the Randolph County Jail.

It’s another tool and piece of technology officers can use as a mechanism for safety and security.

The jail administrator says recording all of the officers' interactions will help tell the true story about the officers' or inmates' claims.

“It also documents any evidence that we may need to keep. So it’s going to document which will help our case if we need to make a case whether it’s for an assault or something claimed that happened and we can go back and review, which supplements,” said Maj. Christopher Toriello, Randolph County Jail administrator.

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office purchased 20 cameras for the jail division, making them the first inside of the Sheriff’s Divison to use body cameras. The cameras cost $74,000 and were purchased through the county asset forfeiture fund.

“It been a success so far,” Toriello said.

Toriello says by the officers wearing the body cameras, they’ve noticed a change in mood from the inmates.

“They say it helps with the calmness of each individual pod for the most part because the inmates realize that any of their breaking of the rules or not following the rules now, from the officer’s perspective, we can capture that,” Toriello said.

With a double tap on the camera’s on-function, the officer can manually turn on the camera, which records both video and audio.

“Once they turn that on, they're actually backtracking. So they are going to get the perspective of the officer sitting here observing, not thinking anything is going to happen --  or maybe just making a general round -- and see something then manually turns it on and it backs up 30 seconds. So you’re getting that perspective of the tone and mood before anything even happens,” Toriello said.

In the future, the detention center is hoping to get more body cameras and possibly even cameras for the sheriff’s office uniform patrol division.