Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department has submitted its proposed procedures for the use and deployment of body worn video (BWV) by uniformed police officers to the Board of Police Commissioners for its consideration.
In early 2014, the LAPD field tested BWV equipment and, through the generosity of the Los Angeles Police Foundation, will deploy over 800 BWV devices to officers within the next several months. In addition, Mayor Eric Garcetti has made the use and deployment of BWV a priority in his fiscal year 2015-16 budget, which includes funding for approximately 4,500 additional devices and the necessary infrastructure.
The proposed order requires officers to record investigative and enforcement contacts with members of the public and contains provisions to maintain the integrity of criminal and administrative investigations. In addition, the proposed order protects the privacy rights and civil liberties of the community and Department personnel while enabling officers to collect reliable evidence for use in criminal prosecutions, use of force and citizen complaint investigations, and other reviews and examinations.
The proposed order is a result of extensive outreach efforts and careful consideration of a variety of ideas, opinions, and concerns expressed by a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The Department consulted with several community groups, employee organizations, union representatives, privacy advocates, department personnel, legal experts, academics, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in developing the proposed procedures. In addition, the procedures are informed by the LAPD’s experience in using Digital In-Car Video in South Los Angeles for the past five years.
“Body worn video has proven to be a valuable tool for collecting evidence for criminal prosecutions, assisting officers with documenting encounters, and promoting accountability,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “The Department’s proposal takes into account the ideas and opinions of a wide array of community members and experts and is a thoughtful, carefully considered proposal that will strengthen the trust between the Department and the community we protect and serve.”
The Board of Police Commissioners will consider the Department’s proposal at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.