Wonderful Wizard of Oz

L.A. cops to get video cameras | December 24, 2014

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday the city will buy more than 7,000 police body cameras, enough to equip every officer on patrol.

“I want to make sure LAPD is on the cutting edge when it comes to crime suppression and constitutional policing,” Garcetti said in announcing the moves.

While calls for video cameras on police officers have grown in light of events in Ferguson, Mo., and nationwide protest demonstrations about police tactics, Garcetti said Los Angeles police have been testing use of body cameras for months, and that he was pleased with the results.

The mayor said more than $1.5 million in donations and grants have been raised by the city’s Police Commission toward the project. The city will make an initial purchase of about 800 Axon cameras, and he will provide funding in his fiscal 2015-2016 city budget for amounts needed to acquire the remainder of approximately 7,000 cameras,he said.

Los Angeles has almost 10,000 police officers on the city force.

The initial cameras will go to patrol and special detail officers in specific areas of the city, including South Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and areas near downtown, Garcetti said.

“These cameras will help law enforcement and the public alike find the truth — and truth is essential to the trust between the LAPD and the community, which has been a key factor in lowering crime to record lows,” Garcetti said

City council member Mitchell Englander said Los Angeles will be “the first major city to have a camera on every police officer.”

City council member Curren Price, who represents South Los Angeles, said, “Our community, and in particular communities of color, have asked for transparency” in policing. “This city-wide body camera program will help us answer that call, increasing public trust in our police department in our communities that need it most.”

Nationally, one in six police officers are equipped with the cameras, Associated Press reported.

Los Angeles police commission President Steve Soboroff said he estimated the cameras would cost roughly $10 million for the first two to three years.

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