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The Morgan County Jail will now have body cameras for corrections officers

Earlier this month, a corrections officer at the Morgan County Jail was sucker-punched by an inmate. Now, these officers will soon be wearing body cameras to capture those types of situations.
Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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MORGAN CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Earlier this month, corrections officer Cathy Evans was sucker-punched by an inmate and spent several hours at Decatur-Morgan Hospital in serious condition. Now, jail personnel like Evans will soon be wearing body cameras to capture those types of situations.

“It would have been nice a month ago or a year ago even because this wasn’t the first incident we’ve had,” said Chief Deputy Alan Host.

On Tuesday, Morgan County Commissioners approved $120,000 to go towards 105 body cameras for correction officers to wear. Commission Chairman Ray Long says these cameras will help officers feel safe at work.

“Sometimes we think cameras will influence inmates not to attack a corrections officer because they know it’s not one word against the other, it’s actually on video,” said Long.

Host says body cameras are proven to be helpful for officers and citizens.

“Because of the staffing issues that we have, sometimes you’ve got one C.O. that’s in a room with up to 70 different people and it just helps us be able to know what is being said, and also helps us to see who they’re talking to if an incident takes place,” said Host.

The new body camera will record interactions from the officer’s perspective and will also capture sound.

“Things that are said, things that are done are recorded and it helps protect them as well as the inmates,” said Host.

The Morgan County Commission also proclaimed the first week in May as correctional officers and employees week. They also plan to replace regular cameras in the old part of the jail.

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