Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006

Sheriff’s Department personnel to start wearing body cams

DUMMERSTON—By mid-January, deputies with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department will have body cameras installed on their uniforms.

These audio and video devices record interactions between the deputies and civilians during official activity.

“We think it’s going to be very beneficial to my office and to the public,” Sheriff Keith Clark said at the Dec. 7 regular Selectboard meeting.

“It brings us up to 21st century policing. It also becomes a training tool” for supervisors to review with deputies where their actions were good or needed work, Clark said.

“If people know they’re being videotaped — not just officers but the public — they tend to stay calmer,” said Clark, noting these devices can help resolve complaints.

The devices’ vendor will provide technical training to the officers, and Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Shriver will train the department on legal issues, Clark said.

Clark told members of the Dummerston Selectboard that his department and the Legislature are working on privacy concerns raised by recording all law-enforcement interactions.

He gave the example of a deputy responding to a medical assist call for a person who collapsed in their home unclothed. An argument could be made that this recording is a public record and should be released. Does releasing the video violate a person’s privacy? Clark asked.

The Selectboard thanked Clark for his presentation.

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.


We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

Originally published in The Commons issue #389 (Wednesday, December 28, 2016). This story appeared on page A5.

Related stories

More by Wendy M. Levy