Grant allows Auglaize sheriff to get new body cameras


By J Swygart - [email protected]



The Auglaize County Sheriff’s Department as been awarded $67,530 in grant funding from the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. The funds will be used to implement a department-wide body camera network that has been in the planning stages ever since Vorhees assumed the office more than a year ago. In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, Sgt. Chris Wicklund of the Burnsville, Minnesota, Police Department wears a body camera beneath his microphone. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Auglaize County Sheriff’s Department as been awarded $67,530 in grant funding from the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. The funds will be used to implement a department-wide body camera network that has been in the planning stages ever since Vorhees assumed the office more than a year ago. In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, Sgt. Chris Wicklund of the Burnsville, Minnesota, Police Department wears a body camera beneath his microphone. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


WAPAKONETA — If all goes according to plan, deputies in the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office will be equipped with body-worn cameras by the time summer rolls around.

While supply-chain issues could ultimately affect that timing, if the cameras can be obtained earlier than that, Sheriff Mike Vorhees will be thrilled.

Vorhees on Monday received word that his office has been awarded $67,530 in grant funding from the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. The funds will be used to implement a department-wide body camera network that has been in the planning stages ever since Vorhees assumed the office more than a year ago.

“We’ve had cruiser dash-cameras for more than 10 years, but when I took office, we started planning for the addition of body cams. We purchased a new server last year that has plenty of terabyte space for storage to add the body cams,” Vorhees said.

While grant funds will be coming to the department in the near future, the final amount represents just a portion of the grant request submitted by Vorhees.

“We put in for $95,000 but I’m still excited to get this grant,” he said Tuesday.

Asked how far $67,000 will go toward equipping said the department with body cameras, Vorhees said he is uncertain.

“I’m hoping to buy 40 body cams, but I could get by with 30, even if we have to put in some local money that we have set aside in our budget,” Vorhees added.

Vorhees said he hopes to be able to keep staffing at its current level, even as the amount of time spent managing and maintaining video files increases.

The sheriff said an order will be placed in the near future for WatchGuard body cameras. The same company provides cruiser cams for the department. The St. Marys Police Department also uses the WatchGuard brand body cameras, Vorhees said.

“We’ve been in contact with the vendor quite a bit over the past six months or so just to inquire about pricing and the like. I’m not sure how long it will take to get the equipment once we order it though,” he said.

The sheriff said his officers are comfortable using cruiser cameras and expects no difficulties as deputies transition to the body cams.

“This is not something that’s new to this generation of law enforcement officers,” Vorhees said. “The guys are used to the in-car cameras and body cams are just another tool in our tool box to collect good evidence.”

Auglaize County was one of 109 law enforcement agencies statewide to share in $4.7 million in body camera grant funding announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. Mercer County received $43,832 to supplement its existing body cam program. Sheriff Jeff Grey was not available for comment on Tuesday.

“Body cameras have quickly become a necessary tool for modern policing,” DeWine said in a prepared statement. “With these grants, more than four dozen law enforcement agencies that have never had body cameras before will be able to invest in this technology to help protect their officers and offer transparency to the public.”

The use of body cameras is not mandated in Ohio and it is estimated that up to two-thirds of all law enforcement agencies in the state have not provided their officers with cameras due to associated costs. Ohio’s Office of Criminal Justice Services, which is administering the grant program, received $16 million worth of grant requests for the most recent round of funding.

The Auglaize County Sheriff’s Department as been awarded $67,530 in grant funding from the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. The funds will be used to implement a department-wide body camera network that has been in the planning stages ever since Vorhees assumed the office more than a year ago. In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, Sgt. Chris Wicklund of the Burnsville, Minnesota, Police Department wears a body camera beneath his microphone. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/01/web1_body-cameras-ap-file-image-1.jpgThe Auglaize County Sheriff’s Department as been awarded $67,530 in grant funding from the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program. The funds will be used to implement a department-wide body camera network that has been in the planning stages ever since Vorhees assumed the office more than a year ago. In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, Sgt. Chris Wicklund of the Burnsville, Minnesota, Police Department wears a body camera beneath his microphone. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

By J Swygart

[email protected]