Thursday, July 28, 2016

[Monterey County] Body-worn cameras coming to Peninsula police forces

Blog note: this article references a recent grand jury report on body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers.
Seaside >> While the Monterey Regional Airport Police Department is the only one on the Monterey Peninsula currently using body-worn cameras, other agencies aren’t far away from implementing them.
The Monterey Police Department will likely have the cameras in use in early 2017 after the City Council approved funding in May. The civil grand jury report states Del Rey Oaks is in the process of ordering cameras. Carmel’s leaders are waiting to see how the cameras perform in the field for other agencies and waiting for policy standards to be settled, with the report stating the city could have the cameras in the next year or two. Pacific Grove and Sand City leaders are in favor of cameras but the report explains funding is holding back the department. Marina assigned a department commander to research the choice in cameras and the report explains the department hopes to have body-worn cameras available for routine use by the end of July.
Seaside Police Chief Vicki Myers said she is in favor of body-worn cameras, as are as the city manager and the Seaside City Council.
“The reason we don’t have them is simply finances,” she said.
She said the City Council will formally respond to the civil grand jury report at its meeting on Thursday, adding that City Manager Craig Malin will make a request for funding of the cameras in the 2017-18 fiscal year budget cycle. The city should start preparing for that budget cycle early next year. Myers announced in May that she will retire in May 2017. She said she would like to get the wheels rolling on the implementation of body-worn cameras before she retires and contribute to the establishment of the department’s policy on them.
“That’s one of the things I’d love to be a part of,” she said. “I think (body-worn cameras) are a wonderful thing for our personnel, for the community, for the city.”
Myers called body-worn cameras a great training tool.
“Having said that, it’s not a panacea. … The human eye captures much more that sometimes the cameras cannot pick up. … It’s one of many useful tools.” she said.
July 15, 2016
Monterey County Herald
By Tommy Wright

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