In keeping a promise to the residents of Los Angeles County to provide transparency and clarity in protecting our residents, Sheriff Alex Villanueva met with Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai and discussed acquisition efforts for body worn cameras.
Sheriff Villanueva is working closely with county officials and pressing forward to get the technology out in the field, faster and at a significantly lower cost than previously projected. “Our residents and deputies deserve the best technology available in the service and protection of our communities,” said Sheriff Villanueva. “It’s time they have it!”
The preceding plan, proposed before the arrival of Sheriff Villanueva, was to phase in the cameras over four years. It was estimated to cost 55 million dollars per year and require the hiring of more than 200 personnel to get it on line.
Sheriff Villanueva recognized the need to have the technology available to staff sooner and cost taxpayers less. The new proposed process will be streamlined by leaning more on technology rather than personnel, which, as infrastructure and budget are updated, will allow the cameras to be deployed at patrol stations. Research by the LASD Body Worn Camera unit, through initial conversations, now estimates the costs could be as low as 13 million dollars per year with minimal staffing increases. It is anticipated that the benefits of body worn cameras will offset the costs in the long run.
People who live, work and travel through Los Angeles County will have confidence in knowing each contact with a deputy is recorded for their benefit; deputy personnel will have confidence in knowing each contact is recorded for their safety and documentation of incidents or events.
By first ensuring nationwide best practices are in line with Department policy, we can be certain the implementation of body worn cameras will allow us to continue providing the areas within our jurisdictions with the highest quality law enforcement services and accountability at all levels.
The next step is to meet with the Board of Supervisors to move conversations forward and provide better services to all Los Angeles County residents.