Sheriff Youngblood, activist group reacts to deputies wearing body cameras

KBAK/KBFX  photo

Kern County supervisors on Tuesday voted to accept a grant from the Department of Justice that will enable the Sheriff's Office to add more body cameras.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood appeared before the Board of Supervisors, asking they accept the grant.

Youngblood is excited about the new grant and believes the cameras will help minimize community complaints and put transparency in the department's forefront.

“I think it is just real positive," he said. "I know the deputies are really happy with the cameras."

The $270,000 will make sure deputies in the metropolitan area of Bakersfield will be wearing the recording devices.

Joey Williams, chapter director of activist group Faith in Kern, said he approves of the initiative but said the cameras alone are not enough.

“I think it is a great first step, but also we have a lot of questions," Williams said. "How is the data going to be stored? What is the penalty for being turned off, if officers turn them? There are still a lot of technical pieces."

Josh Stenner, community organizer with Faith in Kern, would like the community to be involved with the policy surrounding the devices.

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