Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno is asking the Lee County Board of Commissioners to approve more than $ 241 million for the agency’s budget.
The proposed budget of Fr. Growth of 12.2%. in excess of the budget that was approved by the sheriff’s office last year.
His priority is to increase the salaries of deputies and other employees.
What is not a priority is the provision of cameras for these deputies.
The sheriff often talks about his Real-Time Intelligence Center and that his detectives and deputies have the latest and greatest technology to put bad guys behind bars.
His record budget has a lot of money for new technology, but there is not a penny for what is now almost standard in law enforcement: body cameras.
The sheriff hasn’t run away from the issue and doesn’t seem to mind that Fort Myers and Cape Coral police as well as Collier County deputy sheriffs have cameras. Charlotte County expects to get them by summer.
Body cameras are not an investment the sheriff wants to make right now.
“Before I put how many millions of taxpayers’ dollars into a body cell, I want boots on the street. I would rather hire more people who actually physically walk the neighborhoods, travel to the areas that people see, ”Marsena said.
Law enforcement is using cameras to protect MPs, officers and people they meet. Video and sound often help to settle claims of excessive force and wrongdoing.
WINK News asked the sheriff if he would like to be able to allow his deputies to defend their actions with video from the body camera.
“Sure, but I’m not willing to pay millions of dollars for it. Storing this data is millions, it’s a huge expense, ”Marcena said.
County Commission Chairman Kevin Rouen said he agreed with the sheriff.
“I have patrol cars, or I have cameras. Do I get surveillance equipment that can give me an infrared view of the building so I know what I’m in, or do I have cameras? ” said Rouen.
More bots on earth means more deputies, and now hiring and keeping them is a direct priority for Marcian.
In connection with the rising cost of living due to inflation, he also wants to increase the salaries of deputies and employees by 14%.
“We want to be the place where people come, and they want to be here, and they commit to staying because they get paid, and they want to live and stay where they work,” Marcena said.
Both Commissioners Rouen and Brian Haman said they are inclined to give the sheriff what he wants, in the budget proposed to them.