At a time when our nation is demanding greater transparency and accountability in our law enforcement, the Los Angeles Police Department is pushing ahead with a plan that will have body cameras in place as early as this summer. Thanks to private donations totaling $1.5 million, officers in the Newton, Mission, and Central Traffic divisions, along with some specialized units, such as SWAT, will be outfitted with cameras within the next two to three months.
As reported by the LA Times, LAPD officials still have quite a few logistical and political frameworks to establish before implementation can go department-wide, but see this summer’s rollout as a great first step in establishing trust within the community.
According to Chief Information Officer Maggie Goodrich, officers in the Central division tested a number of models before settling on the Taser Axon camera, stating it is “secure, reliable and easy to use.” While Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that 7,000 such cameras would eventually be purchased, putting Los Angeles at the forefront of body camera use in the country, both the LAPD and the police union must finalize a contract concerning their use. For now, 860 of the Axon devices will be deployed in a phase one test with more cameras slated for release in the coming months and years.
Despite criticism and detractors, Chief Charlie Beck sees the implementation as a “total revolution in policing.” Beck went on to say, “It’s not only a great tool for policing, it’s a great tool for gathering evidence, but it’s also a great tool for building trust. We’re on the leading edge.”
We look forward to these advancements in community policing and applaud the LAPD’s steady reforms across the board. However, should you have any questions concerning excessive police tactics and any negative interactions you may have had in the past, contact Kahn Roven today.