Supes to discuss body-worn camera funding, ending ICE transfers

Los Angeles County Seal.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to approve the first year of funding for body-worn cameras in their regular Tuesday meeting.

Following a number of heated debates between Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the board in recent months on the matter, Villanueva announced earlier this month that come October, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies would start receiving body-worn cameras after the department entered into an agreement with Axon Enterprise Inc.

“Body-worn cameras play a vital role in law enforcement transparency and accountability, so we must move as quickly and efficiently as possible to begin implementation,” the motion stated.

That being said, the proposed measure would allow the acting county chief executive officer to transfer $12.3 million in ongoing and $13.2 million in one-time funding from the provisional finance uses budget to the Sheriff’s Department for the fiscal year 2020-21, covering the cost of the body-worn cameras.

The camera program is estimated to equip 5,200 deputies and security officers with devices over the next two years. Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies will not immediately receive cameras, as the devices are slated to be released first to a group of five other stations: Century, Industry, Lakewood, Lancaster and West Hollywood. All other stations are expected to follow “soon,” according to Villanueva. 

The Board of Supervisors is also expected to discuss ending transfers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in L.A. County, without a judicial warrant. 

This comes after Villanueva made permanent the temporary hold on the transfer of individuals being held on a civil immigration detainer he had put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for “everyone’s public safety, regardless of immigration status.”

The motion would prohibit the use of any county resources to facilitate transfers, unless in accordance with a judicial warrant, judicial probable cause determination or otherwise required by federal or state law.

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