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Pima Sheriff requesting body cameras

Had been last local agency without them
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Posted at 4:49 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 22:07:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is asking County Supervisors to approve body cameras for deputies. The Sheriff’s Department was the last agency in the county to go to body cams but Sheriff Nanos says it’s time to pin on the cameras.

When someone on law enforcement shoots someone, the public has come to expect body camera video to document what happened. Tucson Police began using the cameras more than eight years ago.

But in his previous term as Sheriff Chris Nanos said he didn’t think his department needed them----that deputies would do the right thing without cameras watching their work. Now he says cameras are needed.

“So it's not just about protecting our community. It's also protecting my officers. Think about it, if I really tell you and believe that our officers 99.9% of time do a great job. And why wouldn’t I want to show that.? So, yeah. Shame on me back then for thinking the way I did because now today's world, everybody's got cameras and I'd rather you see both sides of the issues.”

RELATED: Pima County Sheriff pushes for more ankle monitors to keep non-violent offenders out of jail

With officer involved shootings under more scrutiny than ever before Sheriff Nanos says he’s working with other agencies to form a regional team to investigate shootings by officers---to build expertise and avoid suspicion when an agency investigates itself.

“Say the Sheriff's Department gets into a shooting, the Sheriff Department steps out of that picture. The investigation is handled by all of its regional partners. So there is a little bit more deconfliction if you will and those agencies will head up the investigation. They will take that investigation to the county attorney's for whatever course of action they deem appropriate.”

The shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota when an officer claimed she meant to use a TASER instead of a gun led Sheriff Nanos to ask Pima Supervisors to let him buy 450 TASERs. He says the department's TASERs are black. He wants to replace them with yellow TASERs to reduce the chance of a fatal mistake.