LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials with the Los Angeles Police Commission are getting their first wave of feedback on a pilot program to test the use of body cameras on police officers.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports the LAPD is now 60 days into the first field test of the on-body camera project.
About 30 officers volunteered for 90-day trials of the devices provided by Arizona-based Taser International Inc. and Coban Technologies Inc. of Houston, according to the Associated Press.
Each company has donated 60 of its units for the field test. At the end of the trial, 600 cameras from one of the companies will be purchased and deployed, Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said in January.
Soboroff solicited $1.2 million in funding for the trial from Hollywood luminaries such as director Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, along with former mayor Richard Riordan, media giant Casey Wasserman and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Associated Press reported.
LAPD Sgt. Dan Gomez told commissioners the impact of the on-body cameras was recently seen when a supervisor who was dealing with an escalating situation at a police station called over a sergeant, who was being trained with a camera.
“When he arrived, he explained to the person who was escalating that he had a camera, he noticed he had a camera…all of a sudden, the whole thing started to de-escalate,” Gomez said. “They were able to deal with whatever the situation was and no additional enforcement action was needed.”
After the current initial first round of testing is completed, a new 90-day trial is scheduled to begin with a second product.
Officials are expected to make their selection of a camera system by sometime this summer.
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