MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Twenty-five new body cameras are headed to the North Charleston Police Department within the coming year, bringing the total number to 276. Following talks over police officers and public safety, Seacoast Church is donating these cameras as a way to give back to the community.
It's still in the early stages, but after several discussions with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, North Charleston Police
Chief Eddie Driggers, and those who live in the city, Seacoast Church is on a mission to help those in the wake of issues with body cameras and police officers.
"I think it's a difficult situation in any town, from both sides, or whatever side of the table you're sitting on," Kevin Rafferty, of Mt. Pleasant, said. "But it's good to have, I would think."
"We continue to look for ways to partner with the community," Glenn Wood, the Business Administrator with Seacoast Church, said. "Whether that's the mentoring program, the food bank, the medical clinic, just lots of different ways."
Seacoast Church became a partner with the North Charleston Police Department after its North Charleston branch opened in 2007. This is due largely in part to an article that was published during that time frame.
"Our campus started really back about the same time when the USA Today came out and said North Charleston was the seventh deadliest city in America," Wood said. "It really just started from there. That was kind of the catalyst, and God leaning on our Senior Pastor's heart that we needed to do something about that."
Now something is being done. The additional 25 cameras will bring the total number up to 276 for the department. Leaders say the response has been positive.
"If they can afford it I think it would be great for more organizations to do this," Christina Brown, of Mt. Pleasant, said. "It's definitely a need that we have."
Getting those cameras though may take time.
"It's a supply and demand challenge," Wood said. "I think there's a lot more demand than there is supply. So I think a lot of it is going to depend on when the manufacturers can get them produced and get them shipped."
Wood says they are expected in the near future.
The next step for church leaders and the police department is to figure out what kind of make and model will be best for the officers. They will most likely be similar to those already purchased by the department.