Body cameras expected for Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies by July

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced Thursday that deputies from the Sheriff’s Department are expected to start receiving body-worn cameras in July, officials said.

The rollout of the body-worn camera program that should take greater accountability from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is slated for mid-July, after months of collaborative efforts between the county and the sheriff. Department, according to supervisors.

The sheriff’s department is expected to be able to equip 5,200 deputies and security guards with devices over the next two years using the nearly $ 35 million that the oversight board set aside last year specifically for this. program, according to a statement released by the board of directors. .

“In discussions about law enforcement accountability and greater transparency, which, frankly, are occurring amid nationwide unrest over police brutality and the use of lethal force, the implementation Body-worn cameras should be a priority for LASD, “Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement Tuesday.

Ridley-Thomas filed a motion in 2012 to have LASD implement body-worn cameras, according to the supervisor’s office.

The Los Angeles County Department of Internal Services has been working with representatives from the Sheriff’s Department on solicitation and negotiations with proposed vendors since October 2019, according to the county.

Meanwhile, the two departments worked closely to review various proposals and on board the selected vendor to provide the department with the much-anticipated cameras and technology to support this program, officials said.

So far, the sheriff’s department has received around $ 8 million to begin necessary infrastructure work at patrol stations designated for the initial deployment, supervisors said.

Although the board said the cameras are expected to begin distribution in July, Sheriff Villanueva did not post a comment on Friday afternoon.

The Oversight Board has prioritized greater transparency and accountability from the Sheriff’s Department for several years, developing key policy initiatives and identifying the appropriate funding and staff to enable the program to get up and running quickly. of cameras worn on the body, officials said.

The history of the Council’s unwavering support in making this program a reality includes the following:

Approved a motion drafted by Ridley-Thomas to implement recommendations on the need to address the excessive use of force, which included the use of body-worn cameras, as part of the Citizens Commission on violence in prison in 2012.

The board also approved subsequent motions, according to the office of Ridley-Thomas.

Enlisted the assistance of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in September 2015 for a detailed analysis of the proposed body-worn camera policy, prompting the county to initiate a lengthy process of evaluating the cost of such program.

Directed the sheriff to implement the body-worn camera program and appointed the OIG to oversee the implementation in September 2019.

Engaged the OIG and the Civil Oversight Commission (COC) to provide specific feedback to update and strengthen policies that would improve the use and effectiveness of body-worn cameras, such as review and broadcast camera footage.

The Civilian Oversight Commission and Inspector General also provided specific comments and recommendations to the Sheriff’s Department on how to improve the proposed policies on body-worn cameras, on topics such as examination and screening. broadcast of camera images, aimed at building community confidence in this new technology.

These problems remain unanswered, according to supervisors.

Once the implementation goes into effect next month, the sheriff’s department is expected to be responsible for deploying body-worn cameras with surveillance and input from both the OIG and the COC.

The board is “grateful” that after many years of persistent effort, body-worn cameras will be implemented by the LA County Sheriff’s Department, according to supervisors.

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