The Rogers County Sheriff's Department is testing some hi-tech spy glasses. Glasses with a tiny camera attached to the side. They say cameras are no longer a gadget or toy, but, a much needed tool for law enforcement.
The sheriff said not only do cameras provide clear cut evidence for court; they also protect citizens and defend deputies from bogus complaints.
Deputy Daniel Welch took a man to the hospital that threatened suicide, got into a standoff with officers and had meth in his system. The camera Welch was wearing showed the man slam his head into a metal door frame. When Welch turned to tell a nurse the man made a run for it.
When Welch took the man down, the man cussed, bit, kicked and fought for several minutes until back up arrived, then, he was cuffed and placed on a stretcher. The camera Welch was wearing recorded it all, in case there were any questions later about use of force.
"Gonna save a lot of tax dollars, time in court. I can't think of better equipment to prosecute bad guys," Welch said. "And help wrongfully accused with this type of footage."
The camera attaches to a pair of glasses or a shoulder mount, can record for up to ten hours and is easy to download back at the office.
During a traffic stop, a suspect claimed he doesn't have warrants, that there were no drugs in the car and they do know the homeowner, but, the recording reveals all that's a lie.
The footage showed the resulting search of the car that revealed a box under the seat containing what looked like drugs; no chance of claiming the deputy planted it.
Rogers County Sheriff, Scott Walton, said, "Certainly at a time when law officers are questioned more, this takes all the argument out of that type of dispute."
Of course, that type of protection doesn't come cheap. These cameras are $500 each and then, there's a $50 a month fee per camera for the software. And with 25 deputies to outfit, tight budgets and other priorities, it becomes tough. But, Sheriff Walton said that is nothing compared to the cost of one lawsuit.