Dispatchers for the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office could soon be able to see the deputies while they are in the field.
A grant application the Grayson County Commissioners Court approved Tuesday will, if awarded, allow the county to spend $15,000 to upgrade the new camera systems that were recently put into the sheriff’s office’s fleet vehicles to allow dispatchers to see the deputies through those dash cams.
GCSO Capt. Sarah Bigham said if the county gets the grant, there won’t be a cash match from the county coffers. She also said she thinks the Patrol Scout Program is included in the maintenance fee the county already pays for the camera software.
Bigham said the upgrade would also allow supervisors to be able to view ongoing traffic stops and other calls for assistance. Bigham said that dispatchers are currently required to check on deputies every five minutes and sometimes the deputies are out of their car or away from communications and the dispatchers have trouble getting that immediate confirmation that the officer is alright. That sometimes means they have to send someone to check on that officer. With the camera system, the dispatcher would be able to look at whatever is visible on the dash cam and see how the officer is doing. However, she said the dispatcher will not be able to hear what is going on.
The program will also alert dispatchers if the vehicle is involved in a wreck and will activate allowing the dispatcher to see the scene of the crash. She said the program would be installed on all 36 GCSO units.
Bigham said the GCSO won’t know whether it will get the grant until around August. If the department receives the grant, it won’t come in until the fall. For that reason, she said, it was not included in the 2018 budget.
Commissioners unanimously approved the request to submit the grant proposal.