Patrol deputies assigned to four L.A. County Sheriff stations – Lancaster, Temple, Century and Carson – will be testing a wearable camera system as part of a pilot program that could lead to as department-wide rollout.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has long recognized the advancement in body worn camera technology as a useful and practical tool for enhancing public trust and increased transparency. In addition, it is also a valuable way to obtain better video and audio evidence while providing a law enforcement perspective.
In July 2013, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department began plans for performing a no-cost test and evaluation of a Body Worn Camera System. After completing extensive research and a request for information procurement process, four manufacturers were selected to participate in the pilot program, which was formally initiated on Monday, Sept. 1.
The six-month pilot program will evaluate the feasibility of utilizing a Body Worn Camera System for Sheriff’s Department personnel to record interactions with citizens, the specifications for the procurement of a Body Worn Camera System device, file management software, cloud-based storage solution and an evaluation of future Department policy. The pilot program will also identify the strengths and weaknesses associated with the use of a Body Worn Camera System in a law enforcement capacity.
Deputies from the four patrol stations who participate in the pilot program do so voluntarily. Each Deputy will be provided training on the use of the device, maintenance, uploading video files, retrieving video files for viewing and evidence and protocols for utilization. Deputies will provide weekly evaluations to the Department project manager about their experiences and opinions.
A total of 96 Body Worn Camera System devices will be issued to Department personnel. The devices will also be tested in several side-by-side comparison tests by the Department’s Training Bureau.
At the end of the test phase, which concludes on March 1, 2015, the Sheriff’s Department will prepare an assessment report and recommendation for potential future procurement and deployment of a Body Worn Camera System by Sheriff’s Department personnel.
“The Body Worn Camera system is the next step in the modern evolution of law enforcement technology. Just as radios and computers have become common place in law enforcement, these camera systems will be utilized by law enforcement as a matter of routine. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is systematically researching and testing these systems as well as developing policies and a process to manage the thousands of hours of video data that will be collected each year that will be needed in future law enforcement efforts,” said Project Director Chief Bob Denham.