Crime & Justice

Pasadena police seek public input on body-worn cameras

A body camera from Taser is seen during a press conference at City Hall in this September 24, 2014 file photo taken in Washington, DC. Pasadena police are seeking public input on their own plan to equip officers with body-worn cameras.
A body camera from Taser is seen during a press conference at City Hall in this September 24, 2014 file photo taken in Washington, DC. Pasadena police are seeking public input on their own plan to equip officers with body-worn cameras.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The Pasadena Police Department is seeking public input on its plan to equip officers with body-worn cameras.

Pasadena police said they were asking residents to comment at a special meeting of the City Council's Public Safety Committee on Monday and at two other meetings in coming months.

The department plans to purchase 300 units for use in the field by sworn officers, jail personnel and park and community safety officers, according to a report prepared for Monday's meeting.

Police are asking the public to weigh in on the handling and storage of videos, when officers should activate the cameras, privacy issues and public access to the footage.

Body cameras have been adopted by multiple law enforcement agencies nationwide in recent years, but policies on these specific issues can vary.

In Minnesota, for example, the state has consistently ruled that cities cannot restrict the public's access to body-worn camera video, according to the trade magazine Government Technology.

In contrast, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has argued such videos are "investigative tools" and not for public consumption.

Pasadena police say they have completed field tests and are currently reviewing a request for proposals that they plan to publicly post soon. The target rollout for the new body cameras is late 2016.

The Public Safety Committee meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Monday in the Pasadena City Council Chamber at 100 N. Garfield Ave. The public will have another chance to comment during the November and December meetings.