Johnston County Sheriff’s Office receives local donation for new body cameras

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:56 PM CDT
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TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) -A Tishomingo dental office gave a check for $10,000 to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office this week. They say that money is going to help the county be sure justice is truly served.

“If you don’t have the full picture, people tend to jump to conclusions," said Dr. Ron Austin, owner of Austin-Rand Dental Center in Tishomingo.

Austin said their fiscal year ended on a high note, despite closing briefly for the pandemic.

“We’ve paid all our bills. We gave our staff some back-to-school bonuses. And we had some money left over, so we started. Dr. Rand and I started thinking about what are some needs in the community," said Austin.

Austin and associate dentist, Dr. Jennifer Rand chose a cause personal to them.

“My son-in-law is a law enforcement officer, so this hits pretty close to home. I think about the decisions that he has to make within a split second, and I don’t want him to have to hesitate and lose his life because he’s worried about being the next one that causes upside-down turmoil," said Rand.

Austin came to Johnston County Sheriff, Jon Smith to ask how they can help with body cameras.

“He said it’s on the top of our list for our wants and he went on to say it’s really on the top of our list for our needs," said Austin.

“We have some, but they’re old and some of them are nonfunctional," said Smith.

So they presented the sheriff’s office with a check for $10,000 to purchase 11 new body cameras.

“That’ll provide a body camera for every deputy we have. It also has the software with the body camera so the deputy will be able to come to the office and download the footage into a central location for storage," said Undersheriff, Gary Dodd.

Smith said body cameras are a necessity.

“Everyone knows there’s a nationwide push toward officers wearing body cameras, and they also provide us with evidence in court cases," said Smith.

“I don’t know when they could have afforded them. Small towns stick together. Businesses that can and the people that can tend to be very generous in this county. So we’re just doing our little part," said Austin.

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