NAACP, Allen County commissioners talk body cam funding

LIMA — Lima NAACP leadership met with the Allen County Commissioners Thursday as the civil rights group continues its push to equip Allen County Sheriff’s deputies with body-worn cameras in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Quincy J. Pritchett, who was killed after fleeing a traffic stop in June.

“Our request is that (the sheriff’s) department is given what they need,” said Ron Fails, president of the NAACP Lima chapter.

But Commissioner Brian Winegardner said Thursday that Sheriff Matthew Treglia has not asked the commissioners to provide funding for body-worn cameras, and that the commissioners cannot mandate the sheriff implement such a policy.

“We’re all elected officials, so we’re all on an even playing field,” Winegardner said. “What we do here, he doesn’t have any say over. … We don’t have any say over (the sheriff’s) policies or how he manages day to day.”

Treglia has previously cited the cost of operating equipment and privacy concerns for his reluctance to equip his deputies with body-worn cameras, emphasizing what he describes as “loopholes” in public records laws governing what material law enforcement agencies can redact from footage.

He told reporters in September that his opinion has not changed, noting that he would “be more than willing” to put body cameras on his deputies should lawmakers revise their policies.