Action News Jax has uncovered that not a single officer on the streets of Jacksonville is wearing a body camera right now.
We started questioning the status of the pilot program on Sunday, after Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief Chris Butler said no officers were wearing body cameras during a fatal officer-involved shooting over the weekend.
Butler said Harold Kraai walked toward Officer R.W. Futch with a 12-inch knife when Futch shot and killed him.
JSO started its body camera pilot program in July 2017.
JSO spokesperson Officer Melissa Bujeda said the agency tried multiple vendors, usually testing out 30 cameras at a time, and then sending them back.
Action News Jax asked Bujeda on Sunday how many officers were currently wearing body cameras.
On Monday afternoon, Bujeda told Action News Jax we would have to file a public records request to find out.
We filed the request, but we also sent Bujeda three follow-up emails with further questions about the pilot program.
Eventually, Bujeda confirmed that JSO’s testing process had come to an end and there were no body cameras on the streets.
“We are completed with the pilot program, all cameras have been given back, and we are currently in the procurement process,” said Bujeda in an email.
Action News Jax has asked JSO for a timeline of when we can expect all full-time officers and sergeants to wear body cameras, as specified on page two of the body camera policy JSO released in July 2017.
“It is important for them to keep the public aware of where that program is – the good and the bad, the pros and the cons,” said Action News Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson.
JSO has only released one body camera video to Action News Jax, which shows City Councilman Reggie Gaffney in a back-and-forth with officers during a traffic stop.
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