Orange County testing different body camera models for deputies

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is, in part, relying on a University of Central Florida engineering professor to figure out which body camera model will make the best investment, and the research is now underway.
"I can put it between my lapel and collar bone for more stability," said Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy First Class Norberto Gonzalez, who is testing the Taser Axon Flex camera. He works on the east side.
It is one of two cameras the Sheriff's Office is evaluating with a desired, big investment in sight. The early, long range projection is a $3.4 million investment over five years that could equip as many as 600 deputies.
"It's very important that we understand how to make the most of it and make sure we know how it is affecting the deputy," said Dr. Pamela McCauley, a longtime UCF engineering professor who heads up the universities Ergonomics lab. She has been tapped as a volunteer expert for the sheriff's office.
The law enforcement agency lent Deputy First Class Gonzalez so that she could give FOX 35 an exclusive look at her research firsthand. She had him run on a treadmill as part of a scenario meant to test a deputies reflexes and ability to operate the camera without it impeding on their movements.  The end goal is to pick a camera based on science.
"They have the small one that can worn on the glasses, lapel, shoulder or cap versus the torso-worn body camera," said Dr. McCauley.
She will also watch footage from the cameras and plans to include ride-a-longs in her research.
McCauley leads a newly formed citizens advisory committee as well that will offer the sheriffs' office best practice advice by mid-April. She told FOX 35 it is made up of members who have a wide variety of professions from a pastor to an NAACP leader and a police union rep among others.
The desired stepped up deployment of the cameras is the 2015-2016 fiscal year that begins on October 1.
As FOX 35 has reported, $476,000 was approved by the Orange County Commission to assist with start-up costs for hardware and software to get the body camera program testing underway.
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