Local Sheriff's Office Gets Free Dash Cameras, Saves nearly $45,000

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MCLENNAN COUNTY (April 16, 2013)--The McLennan County Sheriff's Office will begin equipping their patrol cars this week with dash cameras they recently received from the Waco Police department.

The cameras were acquired through an interlocal agreement signed by Waco City Manager Larry Groth and McLennan County Judge Scott Felton.

According to Patrol Captain Steve Smith, the McLennan County Sheriff's Office was looking for dash cameras to outfit their 9 newly purchased Tahoes when Waco Police offered 20 "like-new" dash cameras that their department would soon retire.

For the McLennan County Sheriff's Office, it was nothing short of a sweetheart deal. Nine new cameras to outfit the Tahoes would have cost the sheriff's office and taxpayers nearly $45,000.

"The Tahoes are going to be patrol vehicles, and we want a camera in every patrol vehicle," Captain Smith said.

"So when we reached out for a quote, we found out it would cost us $44,625 to outfit our Tahoes with new dash cameras."

Instead of spending nearly $45,000 for nine new cameras, the McLennan County Sheriff's Office walked away with 20 for free.

"It made sense to reach out to Waco Police to see if it was possible to get some of their cameras they were retiring, and we were able to get quite a few of them," Smith said.

Even though they are hand-me-downs, the 20 cameras are the same type of dash cameras that the McLennan County Sheriff's Office has in many of their patrol cars already.

"It's just a lot easier for the officer and it's a simpler process for everyone involved," Smith said.
The 11 remaining cameras will go into other patrol cars that need upgrades.

Smith says he applauds the evident teamwork between both the McLennan County Sheriff's Office and the Waco Police Department.

"We want to be there for them, because they're there for us...and that's the way it should be," Smith said.