Fort Bend County leaders disagree on body camera policy and how cameras should be used



FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) – Before more body cameras hit Fort Bend County law enforcement, commissioners want county-wide policy, but members of the forces local order fear that this will go too far.

In Fort Bend County, there is no disagreement between local leaders and law enforcement over the use of body cameras. There is disagreement over whether policy should be set at the county level on how cameras are used.

“It should definitely be county policy,” said Richmond resident Gregory Madu. “I think everywhere they should make it mandatory.”

“We can’t dictate what agencies should and shouldn’t do,” said Lamarcus Smith, a Fort Bend County resident. “In my opinion, they should have body cameras just to protect this officer and this civilian.”

On Tuesday, commissioners were to vote on a policy for any officer who uses a camera funded by county money. It is a proposal which brought together the gendarmes of constituencies one, two and three to oppose it.

“Very few participated because we thought it was out of his lane,” said Chad Norvell, a Fort Bend County Riding Officer. “It’s not something he needs to worry about. There are a lot of things the county judge and commissioner’s court should be focusing on and law enforcement issues don’t. not gone. “

“Why have a county wide policy and you’re going to put discipline in your policy that you can’t enforce,” said Daryl Smith, Fort Bend County Constituency Officer.

The policy says officers must attend training, turn on the camera for several reasons, and offenders could be suspended. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office does not have cameras, but officials told ABC13 on Tuesday that the agency may select a supplier next month. They said the county-wide proposal would help them move forward as the cameras arrive.

“I have no problem with someone giving me a blanket direction,” said Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Deputy Office Chief Mattie Provost. “We looked at it. We were able to work with this directive, but we added others that were specific to our agency.”

County commissioners withdrew the point on Tuesday and plan to have more discussions ahead of a vote.

“The point is not to tell another agency what to do,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George.

But the gendarmes are afraid of it and may lead the leaders to try to control other police policies in the future.

“The county judge can’t even fire one of my employees,” Norvell said. “I don’t know why we would adopt a policy that dictates any sort of suspension or termination.”

These are concerns the judge said he wants to hear before a body camera policy is put to a vote at an upcoming meeting. If you would like to read the proposed policy, visit the county website. It is not known whether the Commissioners will address this item at the next meeting.

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