Last month, Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young announced that all 200 uniformed officers in the Kent County Sheriff's Office will be outfitted with body cameras.

The body cameras (as well as upgraded cameras in police cruisers and new tasers) will cost the county $2.2 million.  The spending was approved unanimously by Kent County Commissioners in September.

In an interview with MLive.com, Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young justified the spending with this statement: “I think that even if one resident feels more comfortable because an officer has on a body cam then that’s the No. 1 goal we’re trying to reach,” Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said. “We want them to know we’re here to help, and that officer is going to be professional and that officer is going to be supportive.”

The body cameras will be outfitted on all of the officers by the end of the 1st quarter of 2020.  Previously, the Kent County Sheriff's Office has relied on cameras in police cruisers.  The Muskegon County Sheriff's Office started training with body cameras over the summer, and The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office does not use body cameras but Zeeland police just started using them this summer.