Deputies in Illinois’ Union County start using body cameras

JONESBORO, Ill. (AP) — Deputies with the Union County Sheriff’s Office in southern Illinois have started wearing body cameras.

Sheriff Scott Harvel said last week that his deputies started wearing the cameras July 1. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that Harvel says deputies will be required to wear the cameras at all times while they are on duty. They must activate the recording devices during any interactions with the public.

The department becomes one of several in southern Illinois using the cameras. Departments in Buckner, Christopher, Ina, Sesser and Zeigler also use the cameras.

The sheriff says the cameras will help in collecting potential evidence and will be a tool to evaluate deputy performance. He says the cameras also can potentially deescalate hostile encounter with citizens.