JURUPA VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Deputies in Jurupa Valley have started to test body cameras as part of an experimental rollout program.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department issued the cameras to staff at the Jurupa Valley station Monday.
As CBS2’s Tom Wait reports, Cpl. Robert Torres is among the deputies voluntarily wearing the devices and feels the cameras will protect both the public and law enforcement.
“I think it levels the playing field in the sense that now, ‘Here is the complete video of what happened in that interaction,’ ” he said.
Capt. Jason Horton oversees the sheriff’s Jurupa Valley Station, which is the only location in the county where the experimental cameras are being used.
“They decide. It’s their own discretion,” Horton said. “If there is some routine call that they don’t feel that it’s necessary to capture that on the video, they’ll not turn it on.”
But the Riverside County sheriff’s deputy’s union says the department is not working with them to fully spell out the new camera policies.
“RSA is not ‘against [body worn camera] devices.’ That is thinly veiled disinformation designed to sow seeds of confusion among the rank and file members of our department and draw your attention away from RSA’s demand to meet and confer over the obvious effects of the deployment of this new technology on your working conditions,” the Riverside Sheriff’s Association said.
But Horton says, “The response is that Sheriff Stan Sniff has never indicated he doesn’t want to meet with the union to discuss the details of what the final policy will be. Once that determination is made, he’s more than willing to sit down with them.”
The Sheriff’s Department has three to six months to decide whether to outfit the entire department with the cameras and hope to have a decision by the end of summer.