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Why Does HCSO Refuse Body Worn Cams, Majority Say “YES” – Other Important Facts

REGIONAL – Transparency is one of the most hotly debated topics between civilians and government agencies, especially when media outlets are competing to deliver breaking news stories on crime or other major events. Most law enforcement agencies employee Public Information Officers to help deliver critical information to the public, while top officials deliberate over what may or may not obstruct a fluid investigation or what may actually help solve a case.


Many South Florida agencies often hold press conferences to bring attention to homicide or major case suspects. Others turn to social media to post surveillance footage or composite drawings of suspects, to help the community locate a potentially dangerous suspect before they leave the area or commit another crime. But have some agencies transformed their Public Information Officers into social media marketing experts who are more focused on promoting events and other news agencies broadcasts, than providing crucial information to the community?

For instance, RNRF monitored the Facebook postings of Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties and what we found were vast differences in each organization’s daily posts.

The majority of Pasco County Sheriff Posts were related to recent crimes that included video surveillance and or computer generated composite drawings of wanted suspects. Pasco County is also in production with the A&E hit serious Live PD.

Hernando County shares a lot of typical social media “fun stuff” like “Waggity Wednesday” or traffic crash updates, which are available on their public CAD system in real time, and “thank you” comments from Hernando County Citizens. They also promote most Tampa Bay Area News outlets with headlines like, “Here’s a great story from our friends at —-.”

Citrus County posts a lot of similar information, but they are one of the least transparent when it comes to responding to “outside” media outlets. The majority of what you will find on the Citrus County Facebook page are Citrus Chronicle articles, a promotion for Sheriff Prendergast Wednesday morning radio show, and or a few comments about the Board of County Commissioners.


If you think it’s easy gathering information from local law enforcement officials, think again; well, that is unless you are dealing with Pasco County. They have four top-notch, highly experienced PIOs who do not hesitate to answer the media’s inquiries. If they don’t know the answer, they forward you to the person who does.

Our experience with Citrus County has been less than pleasant. and that’s by-far an understatement. In the past, we’ve inquired about major incidents involving death or serious injuries. The response we get, if we are graced with one at all, is caustic and downright rude at times. So, it’s no surprise that you don’t see many stories from Citrus County.

Hernando County just refuses to provide anything unless it’s an easy to access arrest affidavit that can be retrieved with simple keystroke and attached in an email. When asking for comments from Sheriff Nienhuis or other top officials, it better be on a positive note or the response will be “We do not have a record responsive to your request.”


Pasco – YES

Citrus – YES

Hernando – NO


In a day and age where technology is helping prevent, solve, and even bring potentially deadly situations to a peaceful end, then why would any law enforcement agency decline to move forward and use body worn cameras (BWCs) to protect the officers, victims, and suspects.  There really isn’t a practical argument that would convince anyone that video recordings aren’t the most useful pieces of evidence for any agency or prosecutor. Pasco County says they’ve had great success and have seen a decline in complaints and an increase in successful prosecutions.

We asked Sheriff Nienhuis why he refuses to “get with the times” and implement BWCs with his department. Aside from a cost issue, which most departments have resolved through pilot programs, Neinhuis says he doesn’t want deputies recording private incidents like domestic disputes. But BWCs can be switched on and off at the officer’s discretion, so policies could easily be put into place where verbal domestic disputes are not recorded. The other remedy, like dozens of other agencies across the country, is to limit access of certain footage to the public. And it seems like a large number of RNRF Community Members agree that it’s time to take the plunge.

According a brief 2-hour poll, 209 RNRF Viewers said “YES” to implementing BWCs. 5 were undecided, and 4 said no to BWCs.

Once again, budget time is right around the corner in Hernando County and if citizens feel BWCs should be an import tool used by our local law enforcement officers, then members of the Board of County Commissioners is where proponents can have their voice heard.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2018 RNRF Incorporated.


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  • they cant commit murder and be gangsters with them why would they want then then there busted violating your rights and god forbid anyone thinks Hernando county has crooked cops No not this place! Bottom line they don’t want you to know the truth that there more corrupt than most agencies out there Just ask Tom Lemons he knows he is a victim as well.,

    Thursday, 12 April 2018, 11:33 am
  • Tom, I wish you would do some articles on some of these murder trials in Hernando county,
    such as the Albert Nickerson trial. He murdered his own mother and Pete Megrino is
    asking for the death penalty!
    There have been so many murder trials here and yet we rarely see a RNRF update on
    the trials.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 8:11 pm
      • I had to ask. I watched every single second of the Casey Anthony trial. The jury got that one WAY WRONG!
        Did you watch Marcia Clark investigates on Casey Anthony?
        The things they learned AFTER the trial. WOW!

        Maybe you could just do an update after trial is over?
        I read some interesting things on the Tampa Tribune about what Nickerson did to his poor mother, very eye opening.
        His wife did a controlled/recorded call for the state. Oh the damaging things he said he did to her. And WOW again!

        So I guess I will just continue watching on the other news sites.
        Thanks for the reply

        Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 8:58 pm
  • Hell yes make these bullies wear a camera, the ONLY cop I trusted was Andy Griffin. And OMG when they are off work make them wear a camera too. And when they turn it off then they get tazed or a squirt of maze. Do laundry and throw the dirty ones out.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 7:08 pm
  • Make the Body cams mandatory and required to be on at all times an officer is engaged with a subject. If there is a crime it could help the cops and if the cops don’t do anything wrong it would exonerate them.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 4:48 pm
  • Tom I love getting news from you and your site, but this pi$$ing contest your in with HCSO is just stupid now. not sure why your in it. NOW all you are doing is hurting the troops with all the body camera BS…hey dont hear what im not saying, if ALL of the guys on the street want them….get em’. but i highly doubt thats the case. HCSO has been pretty ‘transparent’ about most of their dirty laundry….no, maybe not ALL of it but no government entity will be.

    I should not have to tell you, body cameras are no end-all-be-all solution to any ‘problem’. they are very expensive, like MILLIONS of dollars believe it or not. of course, anyone whos a scumbag (like several previous commenters) anti-cop or wants to play race baiting BS thats the 1st thing they say…personally, im not a scumbag so i dont deal with cops. IF i did, and they have to come in my house, now the whole world sees into my house, my domain. that is unacceptable to me. leave it alone. instead of worrying about BS cameras, maybe we should be worried about protecting our schools or maybe putting cops in them. would that be money better well spent ? ya know protecting our kids ?

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 3:00 pm
    • transparent you say,emmhumm clearly the good sherrif was stealing 1.3 million tax dollars,clearly deputys are whacking there willys in patrol cars in public,clearly when a deputy had a mentaly ill person and situation under control another deputy arrived on scene and murdered the guy,i can go on for days,i think either
      you are beine naive or just dont understand the definition of transparentcy,and as previously mentioned typicslly the bodys cams would be paid for by grants,so if they are doing the right thing and have nothing to hid im confused why it would be a problem.what could a video of a criminal cought in the act on police body cameras hurt,unless of course the guy wearing said camera is commiting crimes themselfs

      Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 10:42 pm
      • yeah keep SMHing you are obtuse if you think the end-all-be-all solution to corruption is a fing body camera. wake up man…if the thing has an OFF switch, its otherwise useless with dirty a$$ cops anyways news flash. and wtf are you talking about another Deputy showed up and ‘murdered’ a mental case ? when exactly did this happen ? man i hope you are not in charge of anybody or make decisions for people, because you are misinformed and misguided about real life. and NO grants MIGHT cover the initial cost of this BS…not anything else. buy hey thats the priority for MY money ? instead of our schools ? UNACCEPTABLE.

        Friday, 13 April 2018, 8:03 pm
        • ok i appoligize i did not realize how inteligent you are,wow genius solution do nothing cause it has a off button.humm yea im the one who should not be in charge of anything,as a far as when the mentally ill man was shot if you dont know wtf happen i guess that means it diddent happen then.maybe just maybe you should get YOUR facts right before writting a comment and making a statement when you dont know wtf your talking about you retard

          Friday, 13 April 2018, 9:29 pm
          • you tell me im retarded, stupid and dont know ‘the facts’ but wont say what shooting HCSO ‘murdered’ a mentally ill man. hmmm if that WAS the case, wouldnt it be all over the news? like the NATIONAL news? nice one on ignoring all my other points and questions however… it makes your IQ look over 120 next time you get arrested remind them they need body cameras

            Saturday, 14 April 2018, 5:20 pm
  • During an interview with FDLE investigators investigating the James Rayford drowning by HCSO helicopter in 2009, I was told that the FDLE doesn’t recommend the use of dashcams by Florida law enforcement. I asked why. His response is that it is more likely to catch the cops than the perpetrators. Please remember that FDLE is responsible for training and certification of all Florida law enforcement officers. And if they can’t trust officers to perform their jobs properly why the hell would any citizen of the state?

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 11:42 am
  • Funny, the Sheriff fights every year with the budget. I’m sure the BOCC would be fine with approving body cams for officers for millions of dollars, give me a break. The people in Hernando gripe when their property taxes go up pennies, even though Hernando property taxes are one of the lowest in the state. I’m sure the people would be fine with a tax increase PLEASE!

    The solution of “just turn it off during domestic instances” then when a shooting happens all the quacks will say “the officer turned the camera off on purpose” The Sheriff cant win.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 11:36 am
      • Why not use the 1.2 Million Dollars the Sheriff Illegally deposited into a Sheriff Dept. Account, and claimed it was a Book Keeping error. Anyone with half a brain knows All County funds are to be allocated by the BOCC that was fraud, Plain and simple.

        Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 4:12 pm
      • that DOES NOT solve the money issue. your are not aware or not bringing up the other costs of these things. Upkeep, data, video storage, staff etc. its MILLIONS of dollars. and it dont make a difference anyways… all the ‘controversial’ shootings or other incidents have the same outcome. video or no. how about we not let dirtbags dictate our policy ? god forbid.

        Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 1:23 am
    • EXACTLY ! nobody else gets it for the mostpart…alot of people dont think…is it ALWAYS the cops whos dirty ? or is it deeper society problems nobody else wants to talk about ? how about lets npt let dirtbags make our policy ?

      Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 1:26 am
  • body cams?in hernando? are you crazy why would the sherriff want to have recordings of his deputys spanking off in the cruisers,last time this came up to him he said its a invasion of privacy,al its not invasion of privacy,your not suppost to spank the monkey in public while on tax payers dime,do that at home perv.omg could you imagine the footage that would be cought?they cant have that its bad for business

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 6:52 am
    • Lmao smh your comment is the best!!! Omg my abs hurt 😂

      Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 6:22 pm
  • Just about everyone these days has a cellphone equipped with a cam. Break it out ANYTIME you have an incident with LEO.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 6:29 am
    • Really? The deputies tell citizens that it is against the law to film them or take a pic of them and they then arrest the citizen with the cam or run them off or whatever the ‘law for the day’ is and go on doing the f-ing BS they want. If anyone wants to see this go to YouTube and type ‘dirty cops’ and you will see hrs apon hrs of what the law enforcement thinks about cell phone cams.

      Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 1:51 pm
      • It’s legal to film anyone in the country as long as it’s in public. Same applies to filimg cops except that you can’t get very close to them in certain states so that there’s no way for you to hinder them doing their thing

        Thursday, 12 April 2018, 12:12 am
  • Everyone should have a dashcam in thier vehicles in this day and age. I also recommend having some type of interior vehicle recording device also. Unfortunately, we live in a ” guilty until proven innocent” age.

    Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 12:19 am
  • Whats really bothersome is that Hernando don’t allow employee mugshots. That NEEDs to change ASAP!! It shows there is two separate rules of law for two classes of people. You break the law you get your mugshot for the public to see. Its humiliation and that is part of the punishment all must endure.

    Tuesday, 10 April 2018, 11:55 pm
    • They are afraid of ppl hunting them down and frightened they will look like Nick Noltes mug shot

      Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 6:30 pm
  • Yes all cops should have body cams and they should record every incident that they are called to. It protects the coos, the victims, and the criminals. There is no downside except cost. And cost really shouldn’t be an issue anymore. It’s 2018 not 1995.

    Tuesday, 10 April 2018, 10:29 pm
    • I agree! It’s 2018 and unless you feel as if your deputies are unqualified then there’s no reason to not have them. Sheriff Grady Judd is the same way, refuses the cameras but it just looks suspicious. Sheriff Nocco is amazing. He holds his employees accountable and isn’t afraid of getting rid of the bad apples in his agency. Everyone has them but some Sheriff feel the need to coverup to avoid bad media. Sheriff No good ”Nienhuis” only came to Hernando because they chose Nocco over him in Pasco. I wonder why…🙄

      Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 3:53 pm
  • Even when they have body cams and dash cams, officers will lie under oath to say it was turned off if the evidence on the cam presents a point of view contrary to the prosecutions case. This happened to me in Hillsborough. This is why citizens need their own dash cams and body cams to prove the injustice of police actions.

    Tuesday, 10 April 2018, 9:50 pm

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