Santa Clara Sheriff Buys 12 Security Cameras for Jail on Her Own Dime
Rather than wait roughly two years to receive funding for surveillance cameras, sheriff Laurie Smith charged $761.24 on her personal American Express card.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith could not wait two years, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Smith personally bought 12 security cameras for the jail to help fill surveillance gaps that were exposed after an incident when correctional officers allegedly beat a mentally ill inmate in August was not captured on video.
RELATED: Jail Fight Caught on Camera 24 Hours After Sheriff Purchased Surveillance Cameras
After Smith learned the county’s plan to buy surveillance cameras could take two years, she took out her American Express card and charged $761.24 for the cameras, as documented by the San Jose Mercury News.
“It’s imperative we act swiftly,” Smith said after buying the cameras at Costco. “There cannot be any delay because of bureaucracy. That’s unacceptable. Anything we can do to bring additional transparency, we want to do right away.”
Three correctional officers appeared in court on Wednesday as a result of the incident.
In addition to the extended time frame to install the security cameras, Smith was told the program would cost up to $20 million, according to the report. A county work crew is installing the cameras on Thursday in maximum-security housing pod 4A. Smith said if the Lorex high-definition cameras are effective of capturing faces of guards and inmates, she will buy more cameras to install in the jail until a better system is installed in 2018.
Smith spoke with officials before buying the cameras and expects to be reimbursed.
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