ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After years of refusing to get body cameras, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office announced during a press conference on Wednesday, July 15 how they plan to comply with the governor’s new order. BCSO says it’s opting to use a smartphone rather than a body camera.

The sheriff’s office presented a video, saying that smartphones could be used as body cameras to comply with the governor’s recently signed legislation requiring law enforcement in the state to wear recording devices. The sheriff says the devices also include GPS and email, giving them more options for less money.

“A smartphone can function as a body camera, a body camera can’t function as a smartphone,” said Undersheriff Larry Koren. “A smartphone is able to basically work with all these other technologies that we have.”

There are still a lot of unknowns regarding this technology. BCSO says they are still meeting with different companies to figure out which apps would be best to use. They also didn’t give a price tag on the technology but say implementing this would be well over $1 million.

On July 7, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation that requires New Mexico police officers to wear body cameras in order to prevent unlawful use of force and to improve accountability measures in cases of inappropriate excessive force. The requirement applies to city police, county sheriff’s agencies, state police, and the Department of Public Safety.

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