The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced Thursday that Sheriff’s Department deputies are expected to start receiving body-worn cameras in July, officials said.
The rollout of the body-worn camera program that is expected to ensure greater accountability of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is on target for mid-to-late July, following months of back-and-forth collaborative efforts between the County and the Sheriff’s Department, according to the supervisors.
The Sheriff’s Department is set to be able to equip 5,200 deputies and security officers with devices over the next two years utilizing the nearly $35 million that the Board of Supervisors set aside last year specifically dedicated to this program, according to a statement released by the board.
“In discussions about law enforcement accountability and greater transparency, which, frankly, come amid nationwide unrest over police brutality and use of deadly force, implementation of body-worn cameras must be a priority for LASD,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, in a statement Tuesday.
Ridley-Thomas made a motion back in 2012 for the LASD to implement body-worn cameras, according to the supervisor’s office.
The Los Angeles County Internal Services Department has been working with representatives from the Sheriff’s Department on the solicitation and negotiations with proposed vendors since October 2019, according to the county.
During that time, both departments worked closely to review various proposals and onboard the selected vendor to supply the Department with the long-awaited cameras and technology to support this program, according to officials.
Thus far, the Sheriff’s Department has received approximately $8 million dollars to begin the infrastructure work needed at the patrol stations designated for the initial rollout, according to the supervisors.
Although the board has announced that cameras are expected to start being given out in July, Sheriff Villanueva has not released any comment as of Friday afternoon.
The Board of Supervisors has prioritized greater transparency and accountability from the Sheriff’s Department for several years, developing key policy initiatives and identifying appropriate funding and staffing to allow for the swift implementation and operation of the body-worn camera program, according to officials.
The board’s history of steadfast support in making this program a reality included the following:
Approved a motion authored by Ridley-Thomas to implement the recommendations on the need to curb excessive uses of force, which included the use of body-worn cameras, as part of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence in 2012.
The board also approved subsequent motions, according to Ridley-Thomas’ office.
Enlisted the help of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in September 2015 for a detailed analysis of the proposed body-worn camera policy prompting the County to begin a lengthy process of assessing the cost of such a program.
Directed the Sheriff to implement the body-worn camera program and appointed the OIG to monitor implementation in September 2019.
Engaged the OIG and Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) to give specific feedback to update and strengthen policies that would enhance the use and efficacy of body-worn Cameras, such as the review and release of camera footage.
The Civilian Oversight Commission and the Inspector General have also given specific feedback and recommendations to the Sheriff’s Department on how to improve the proposed policies on body-worn cameras, around topics such as the reviewing and releasing of camera footage, aimed at bolstering community trust in this new technology.
These issues remain unaddressed, according to the supervisors.
Once the implementation takes effect next month, the Sheriff’s Department is expected to have the responsibility to roll out body-worn cameras with monitoring and input from both the OIG and COC.
The board is “grateful” that after many years of persistent effort, body-worn cameras will be implemented by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, according to the supervisors.Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com
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