LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Cameras will be the newest weapon in the arsenal of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on patrol along Pacific Coast Highway.
The department is arming several deputies with cameras to take photos of people who are issued citations but don’t have identification, according to the Los Angeles Times. If the defendant misses a court appearance and a warrant is issued for his or her arrest, the photo could help mitigate any confusion.
The sheriff’s department embarked on the pilot program after a Times investigation found the county had incarcerated people mistaken for wanted criminals more than 1,480 times over a 5-year period. Many of those people had the misfortune of sharing a name with a wanted criminal, or had their identities stolen, the newspaper reported.
Sheriff’s officials hope having more photographs attached to outstanding warrants will help judges quickly identify when an innocent person has been wrongly picked up on an arrest warrant.