For the next 60 days, deputies with the Erie County Sheriff's Office will test out body cameras.
"It is my firm belief that the availability of honest, unquestionable data is extremely valuable to getting the truth out to the public of what really happened and not some other individual's interpretation of that," said Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard.
The county is testing out 12 cameras from the tech company Axon that can either be worn on the chest or mounted on a pair of glasses.
"The camera will be turned on at the beginning of the officer's shift and it will be buffering, which means it won't be capturing any digital evidence or interactions until the officer manually activates that camera," said Axon Director of National Sales Vince Valentine.
The cameras turn on with the push of a button, or they can be rigged to start automatically when an officer draws their weapon, a feature the sheriff's office is taking advantage of.
"Certainly to get that data from the point of view of the officer of what he or she saw is extremely important," said Howard.
One of the hurdles the county faces is cost.
Besides the cost of the physical cameras, storing data is expensive.
According to Axon, one gigabyte of video, which equates to about one hour of footage, costs approximately 75 cents to store.
"There are so many factors that come into play when it comes to storage cost like amount of video uploaded, retention policies, and statute of limitations. So a good 60 to 90 days pilot will allow the county to determine what they need to plan for over a multi-year program," said Valentine.
Howard believes the cost could be more than $1 million annually.
His office would pursue state and federal grants, but the responsibility will lie on county government to foot the bill.
"Put your money where your mouth is, anyone including any member of the legislature that says ‘this is a good thing, it's a good idea but it comes with a price tag.’ I don't object to implementing the technology, but I'm not laying off a deputy to get it," said Howard.