MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is one step closer to mounting body cameras on patrolling deputies, after the local district attorney presented the department with a check.
The money is from a settlement from one of the Macon gas stations involved in a large gambling raid.
Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke says because of the work investigators put in to crack down on last year’s gambling bust, the sheriff’s office is getting nearly $44,000 from the $175,000 settlement.
Cooke adds the state and the owners of the Shell on Forest Hill Road came to an agreement.
"The owners of that station are now permanently enjoined from possessing or using any type of electronic gaming machines at that location," Cooke said.
No criminal charges will be filed against the owners, but they and the state agreed on the claims.
"Any violation of that order, would result in immediate action from the court," Cooke said.
Cooke and Bibb County Sheriff David Davis say the money will give the department the head start it needs to implement body cameras.
"We’ll do it in a practical way and make sure that we have a policy in place and that we also have the right equipment," Davis said.
Davis says plans are being ironed out to equip each deputy with a body camera. He adds he and his crew are making sure service stations aren’t misusing gaming machines.
"Operating them improperly with a cash payout, or holding back some of the proceeds that should be going to the Georgia Lottery, which is supposed to be used for education, then we’re going to come after you," Davis said.
He says the money, along with funds from the county’s next budget, should bring the new equipment quickly.
"Because of the objective evidence of the camera, we’ll help solve crimes and keep both officers and the community safe," Cooke said.
Cooke adds the rest of the money from the settlement will go toward providing funding for programs for victims of violent crimes.
Davis says he’s looking to begin rolling deputies out with body cams by the end of this summer.