SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will soon be able to use body cameras for the first time.

The Shelby County Commission awarded the bid for the cameras for the sheriff’s office at Monday’s commission meeting.

SCSO Chief Deputy Clay Hammac said deputies can only record video and audio from patrol vehicles and audio recordings from their uniforms. He said body cameras enhance their technology, allowing deputies to record video and audio on their bodies at all times.

“If we put together a criminal case for prosecution, let’s say an armed robbery, or speaking with someone on the side of the road who makes a spontaneous confession to a crime recording, that audio video aspect has a great deal of value as we present that to our prosecutors and a jury potentially,” Hammac said.

Hammac said the sheriff’s office is evaluating policy on how long they will keep body camera video.

Calera Police Chief David Hyche said body cameras have been a valuable asset for his department. He said the cameras capture when officers are doing right and officer misconduct.

“The way these things work is none of these things can be tampered with, altered or modified,” Hyche said. “There is nothing you can do.”

Hammac said body cameras are necessary because they protect people’s constitutional rights.

“We want to make sure we give you a feeling of peace, a feeling to know that our job is safeguarding lives and property and upholding the rights and values of every person we come in contact with,” Hammac said.

Hammac said the sheriff’s office believes it will have the body cameras for deputies by the start of 2024.