HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — Officials in Hawthorne Tuesday were expected to call for a vote to put body cameras on the uniform of every police officer in the city.
Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown, Police Chief Bob Fager, and other top officials are issuing the call in response to recently disputed incidents of police shootings of unarmed men in Ferguson, Missouri and in the city of Los Angeles.
The estimated cost of the plan to equip each of the city’s 95 officers with cameras could be as high as a few thousand dollars per officer, according to reports.
Brown told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that while the move may be controversial, it would send a strong signal of accountability to both residents and officers.
“I think it’s important that transparency is needed, and what better way to have a camera on the officers…to protect not just the constituents but also the officers,” said Brown.
Under the proposal, the cameras would be activated when law enforcement actions are initiated, such as pulling a vehicle over for driving violations or responding to a crime scene. The cameras would not be used during lunch breaks or officers’ personal time, Brown said.
Hawthorne has been testing three cameras on police officers since 2011, according to the mayor. Brown told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO he also plans to reach out to Google for help in designing state-of-the-art cameras.
The Los Angeles Police Department began a 90-day trial testing phase in March for body cameras for its officers. Officials are expected to make their selection of a camera system by the end of summer.
Brown will propose the ordinance at next week’s City Council meeting.