Butler County law enforcement agencies applying for body camera grants

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The three largest law enforcement agencies in Butler County have applied for grants to implement body camera programs, including Sheriff Richard Jones, who has resisted the the technology until now.

Jones has applied for about $280,000 in state grant funds to implement a body camera program that would cost approximately $172,000 annually to run, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer. Jones told the Journal-News if the grant is denied — only $5 million is available — he will not pursue the program.

“No I’m not excited about the cameras and if they turn me down that’s okay,” Jones said. “Hell I can hardly buy bullets and gas for my police cars and I hardly got enough money to feed my prisoners let alone an added burden that does no good at all.”

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He said when there are officer involved shootings in big cities during uprisings “the videos are released that exonerate the police and it doesn’t stop, they still don’t believe it.”

He said there is already transparency on his police force but if they get the money he’ll take it, because he believes at some point in time he may be mandated to do so.

The cities of Hamilton and Middletown have also applied for grant money to start new programs. Fairfield, Miami University, Monroe, New Miami, Oxford and West Chester Twp. police departments already have body cameras in the county.

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