Jacksonville police getting nearly $1M grant for body cameras

Building trust between JSO and the community

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has announced it’s getting a major federal grant to help it purchase body cameras by next year

The nearly $1 million dollar grant from the Department of Justice comes as JSO is in the middle of three technical pilot programs.

Neighbors tell Action News Jax the program can’t get up to speed fast enough.

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There have been six officer-involved shootings since Jacksonville police started a pilot program in July.

“These cameras should be used for better trust and accountability,” said Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville.

JSO said the results of the pilot programs will be completed by the spring of 2018 and the first round of purchases will begin in late 2018.

“There’s been other agencies that had these cameras for quite some time and it might seem like JSO is dragging its feet,” said Action News Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. “But I’m certain other agencies who put it in motion had to do their due diligence as well.”

Frazier said until the body camera program is fully implemented, JSO has a long way to go.

“If we had to give the Sheriff’s Department a grade for 2017, we would be giving them an F,” Frazier said.

JSO says it could cost anywhere between $3 million to $5 million to run the program each year.