DON GROVES/Albany Ledger
Gentry County Sheriff Tim Davis talks about the new digital video recording system for use during dangerous felony interviews.
Sheriff’s Office gains video system
By Don Groves
The Albany Ledger
The Gentry County Sheriff’s Office will now be able to provide greater accuracy in criminal investigations thanks to a technological upgrade made possible through the Gentry County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund.
On Dec. 22, a new digital recording system and two cameras were installed at the Sheriff’s Office for use doing interviews. The iRecord recording system that allows live viewing of interviews as well as recordings compatible with three different video formats.
Sheriff Tim Davis said he and his deputies have already used the system twice during less serious interviews to become familiar with how it works and have been impressed with what the system can do.
“It’s for our safety too,” Davis said.
Gentry County prosecutor Jerry Biggs said the county decided to buy the system after Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 62, which requires law enforcement agencies to record interviews for dangerous felonies such as murder, assault, robbery, kidnapping, rape and child abuse. Biggs said the bill was signed after some courts discovered audio interviews aren’t as reliable as video interviews.
“We’re the only county in the area that has this capability now,” Biggs said.
The recording system and three years of service and upgrades cost about $12,000.
“At no cost to taxpayers,” Biggs said.
The Gentry County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund Board, which includes David Brown, Jim Waltemath, Marty Tunks, Jim Derks and Bob Youngclaus, also bought five new ballistic vests for the Sheriff’s Office. Davis said he and all but one of his deputies will receive the new vests.
“They measured use for them last week,” Davis said. “They should be ready in about six weeks.”