Santa Clara County Sheriff uses own money to purchase cameras for embattled jail

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Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith went on a Costco shopping spree Wednesday, not to buy food or household supplies. Instead, Smith purchased security cameras for her troubled jail. (KGO-TV )

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith went on a Costco shopping spree Wednesday, not to buy food or household supplies. Instead, Smith purchased security cameras for her embattled jail.

The sheriff used her own credit card to buy $700 worth of security cameras and she insists this is not a publicity stunt.

WATCH VIDEO: EXCLUSIVE: Attorney describes inmate's alleged beating by Santa Clara County deputies
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An attorney for an inmate at the Santa Clara County Jail spoke exclusively to ABC7 News about his client's alleged beating at the hands of two correctional deputies and about the lawsuit they will be filing.


Workers at the Santa Clara County Jail are installing new security cameras, a dozen of them bought at Costco for about $60 each.

Smith says she bought them herself, after she learned that the county's plan for a $20 million system is going to take two years.

"If there are allegations made against a staff member, we'll be able to see it. Ff there's an assault against a staff member, we'll be able to see it and have evidence for court," said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith. "It's something we should have done all along and I wanted it done now."

RELATED: 3 Santa Clara County deputies may go on trial for inmate death

The new cameras come four months after the beating death of inmate Michael Tyree. Three correctional deputies are accused of his murder.

The cameras are being installed in only one housing area, but if it works out well, the sheriff plans to buy more.

RELATED: Former Santa Clara inmate says he witnesses beating death of mentally ill inmate

"We'll have captains and lieutenants who can perhaps view this and it's an interim solution, because it's not a $20 million solution. It's $700 for this pod here, but I think it's going to be really adequate. I think it's going to be really good."

The sheriff did not get any assurances before buying the cameras, but she is hoping the county will reimburse her.
Related Topics:
newscrimehomicidehomicide investigationjail deathsanta clara countysheriffarrestviolenceinvestigationpoliceprisontrialSanta Clara
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