In response to a proposal from Sheriff Stan Sniff, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved expenditures of about $384,000 to further evaluate using body cameras for sheriff’s deputies.
In his request to the board, Sniff wrote, “The Sheriff’s Department recognizes the importance to stay current with emerging technology … [body video camera systems] are designed to provide an unbiased records of events that occur between sheriff’s personnel and citizens daily.”
The funding will be used to acquire 165 cameras and associated storage hardware. Cameras will be limited to patrol deputies at the Jurupa Valley Station, according to Sniff. Deputies working patrol, special teams and traffic assignments will now be able to provide input into this testing process.
However, the department has tested body-worn cameras with a limited number of personnel over the past few years and will continue the testing for another year or two, according to Deputy Albert Martinez, Sheriff’s Department public information officer, in a press release.
“The testing to date generally showed that the body-worn cameras exonerate the actions of our deputies when complaints are lodged, making it far easier in defending against lawsuits and resolving complaints. It is believed that use of body-worn cameras will help agency accountability and transparency, reduce agency liability, and allow the review of past incidents to reduce false complaints.”