COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday that natural resources and wildlife officers with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will now have body cameras.
"Body cameras are becoming an increasingly important piece of technology in all areas of law enforcement," said DeWine. "These new cameras have the ability to protect natural resources and wildlife officers while also offering transparency to the public."
The governor ordered ODNR to begin outfitting its certified peace officers with body cameras last year. The agency used $3.5 million in funding from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to buy the cameras.
All officers with ODNR are expected to be outfitted with the cameras by the end of the year.
“Our officers have been well-trained in the use of this new technology that will help them better protect the people of Ohio,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “We are excited to rollout these new cameras to increase the trust of our visitors while keeping our officers safe on the job.”
A News 5 investigation found only 32% of Northeast Ohio's non-municipal police departments provide or require body-worn cameras, despite calls from victims' families, experts, and top state officials for every Ohio officer to be equipped with the devices. Watch more in the player below:
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