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BCSO to test new body camera system

Current cameras have limitations, Sheriff Javier Salazar says

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff's Office will begin testing a new body-camera system.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said deputies will put some new cameras from a different company to the test for 180 days at no cost to taxpayers.

"We're looking at ways, should we go with a different brand ... to minimize the cost to taxpayers," Salazar said.

Related: BCSO rolling out more body cameras, will hold off on 248 more 

Salazar's request was approved by the Bexar County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, less than two years after commissioners approved the purchase of 300 body cameras for about $800,000 under then-Sheriff Susan Pamerleau.

But the program stalled because there are limitations on where deputies can wear the cameras, and there is difficulty in getting video evidence to prosecutors at the District Attorney's Office, Salazar said. Only about 50 cameras were deployed. The rest are sitting on a shelf, Salazar said.

Related: SAPD officers training with new body cameras

Salazar's chief of staff, who implemented the San Antonio Police Department's body camera program, will be in charge of BCSO's program.

The sheriff hopes to outfit patrol deputies with the cameras by next year and wants to expand the program to the jail.

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