Article published on June 01, 2015

AOCDS has been meeting with the Department regarding the implementation of a Beta testing body worn camera policy. AOCDS and the Department have worked collaboratively to develop the best practical beta test policy to fit the needs of the department while addressing officer safety concerns and the numerous legal considerations for our members. It is my hope this cooperative approach with the department continues as we finalize this very important policy.
The department selected a group of deputies to begin Beta testing the body worn cameras in the field starting today June 1. The Beta test is intended to provide feedback prior to the cameras being issued throughout the Department’s Operations division. These deputies will provide valuable input to assist the Department and AOCDS in crafting a final policy which is practical, well thought-out and in line with body worn camera policies of other agencies and within the recommendations of the Department of Justice.
A date for full operational implementation of the final worn body camera program has not been set.
State lawmakers have introduced several bills in Sacramento surrounding the use of body worn cameras. We are working closely with our legislative advocate to ensure these bills remain consistent with safe law enforcement practices and reporting and retention of evidence. We strongly object to politicians using recent anti-police protests as an opportunity to grandstand and institute overreaching laws which canonize bad policy.
We have already made progress. AOCDS and other law enforcement groups from across the state successfully lobbied to have language prohibiting officers from reviewing body worn camera footage before writing reports removed from AB 66 (Weber – D San Diego). The purpose of any report or statement is to provide the most accurate version of an event. Reviewing all video footage enhances an officer’s ability to provide as much accurate detail as possible. The public we serve deserves the truth. I will be on hand to testify in Sacramento regarding body worn camera legislation at a moment’s notice if needed.
A letter regarding body worn cameras was written to the editor of the Los Angeles Daily News. The author makes some excellent points about the importance of allowing officers to review body camera footage before writing reports.

Thank you.

Tom Dominguez

AOCDS President