For the first time in the department’s history, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies will be provided with body-worn cameras that will be worn in the field.
The first body-worn cameras being used by LASD deputies were to be used Thursday night — and moving forward — at stations in Century City, Lancaster, Lakewood, City of Industry and West Hollywood.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies will not be equipped in the first batch of camera-using stations, but Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said every station will be using them within 18 months.
“Body-worn cameras provide the opportunity to record interactions between law enforcement and the public,” Villanueva said in a statement about the program. “They also add a new measure in achieving fair and impartial treatment of persons who become involved in the criminal justice system.”
Through the next few months, 5,248 body cameras will be issued departmentwide.
In the past, deputies either didn’t wear body cameras, or their body cameras were their own personal property, and therefore the footage obtained by them was their own private property.