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County attorney seeks partnership with SWCC’s criminal justice dept.

Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon asked the supervisors for their blessing to create a video clerk position on his staff Tuesday during the regular weekly Union County Board of Supervisors meeting at the Union County Courthouse.

Kenyon said, over the summer, intern Krystal Daggett was able to take some of the load of watching police body and car cameras. However, now that the summer is over, she has gone back to school.

An hour-long traffic stop can generate two to three hours of footage, especially if more than one officer is involved.

“We have cameras in all the cars, plus we have body cameras,” he said. “You pretty much have to watch them all to see who says what.”

The video clerk could watch the tape and make notes for Kenyon on what portions he needs to watch himself and what portions are an overlap between the sources.

Southwestern Community College has a criminal justice program that will fit well with Kenyon’s plan to hire a clerk to watch the footage. He said he has spoken to Diogenes Ayala, criminal justice instructor at SWCC about forming an internship or hiring a student.

“He’s got a couple of students that may be interested in having an independent study kind of courses,” Kenyon said.

Kenyon said there are confidentiality issues with the idea, but it has been done in other counties. He will be in contact with other county attorneys to determine how they have been able to work through the difficulties.

The terms of the position have not been set. Kenyon said he wanted to get an OK from the supervisors first. It could be a paid position with a wage at or just above minimum wage or an unpaid internship. It is likely to be eight to 10 hours a week but could become a more permanent position eventually.

Kenyon hopes to move through the process of planning and hiring quickly, perhaps within a few weeks he said.

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