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LAPD body cameras: 90-day test seeks to answer key questions to create new policy

LAPD Body Cameras - 1

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

LAPD Officer Guillermo Espinoza wears a video camera on his lapel. Espinoza is one of 30 officers in the downtown area that began testing body cameras this month.

LAPD Body Cameras - 2

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

After every officer's shift, the cameras and battery packs are returned to a charging station where the videos from the day are automatically uploaded and stored.

LAPD Body Cameras - 3

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

LAPD Officers William Allen, left, and Guillermo Espinoza get into their patrol car after doing a foot patrol in Skid Row.

LAPD Body Camera

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Officer Guillermo Espinoza pushes a button to turn his lapel camera on and off. The cameras don't roll for the entire shift, only when an officer presses record.

LAPD Body Cameras - 5

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Officer Guillermo Espinoza does a foot patrol in Skid Row with one of the LAPD's new body cameras. The pilot program is the start of a larger effort to equip as many as 600 police officers with them.

LAPD Body Cameras - 6

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

LAPD Officer William Allen does a foot patrol in Skid Row on Jan. 22. Allen and Espinoza can review the videos recorded on the body camera while filling out police reports.

LAPD Body Cameras - 7

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

LAPD Officers William Allen, left, and Guillermo Espinoza talk with two people in an argument on the street. Allen and Espinoza are part of LAPD's central station where the body cameras will be tested out for 90 days.


About 30 Los Angeles patrol officers are testing body cameras that record interactions with the public. Supporters say it's an impartial tool that can help resolve complaints filed against officers.

But some worry about potential Consitutional issues, like violating an individual's right to privacy. KPCC's Erika Aguilar says the LAPD will use a six-month trial period to answer some of these concerns.


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