For the first time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is testing out body cameras out in the field, a department press release announced Monday. As part of the six-month pilot program, a total of 96 cameras will be issued to deputies at four patrol stations that include Lancaster Station, Temple Station, Century Station and Carson Station.
Two years ago, the department tried similar body cameras in its jails, which have been criticized for alleged inmate abuse. Those cameras often broke or fell off. There were also issues with downloading recordings.
The technology has improved since, and Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida tells KPCC they're using four types of cameras for this pilot program.
"There's one that is actually integrated into the patrol into the deputy's radio that they clip on to their shirt. There's one that's a magnet that clips on to glasses, which they wear. There are some that they put into their pocket, and some that they clip onto their shirt collar."
Nishida says the department hopes to use the technology as a useful and practical tool for enhancing public trust and increasing transparency.
The police departments of Los Angeles and Anaheim have also been testing out the body cameras over the last several months. Early reports of the LAPD pilot showed that the cameras tended to fall off officers' collars and glasses during movement.