LA County Sheriff's Department closer to full-time deployment of body cameras

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The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is moving closer to full-time deployment of body cameras for deputies on patrol. L.A. County Supervisors say the department has four months to draft a plan. (KABC)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is moving closer to full-time deployment of body cameras for deputies on patrol.

The Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday and gave the department four months to draft up a plan for body cameras.

The plan would require a full explanation of how the roll out would work, the funding request and an explanation of the review and storage process for the footage, said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

"All of the implementation matters," Kuehl said.

The department completed a two-year body camera pilot program last year, and they are still reviewing the data collected.

The cost and the number of cameras needed still need to be determined. The one thing everyone can agree on is that body cameras are definitely needed.

"It increases the accountability and the ability that the public has, the transparency knowing what is happening. This protects the officer. It protects the public," Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said.

Inspector General Max Huntsman said officers, particularly younger officers, tend to adopt to the cameras with enthusiasm. They view it as a protective device and also a way to diffuse situations.

In addition to cost and quantity evaluation, the LASD is working to determine how much information can be shared with the public.

"Retention of the material, public release of the material, redaction of certain material because there are materials that can be released to the public, but there will still be things that will be redacted for them," LASD Chief Stephen Johnson said.

Kuehl said she hopes sheriff's deputies will be issued body cameras by the end of the year.
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