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FY21 BWC - County of El Dorado, CA

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
El Dorado
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $438,000)

Body worn cameras (BWC) are often celebrated by both law enforcement and the public for their contributions to criminal justice and government transparency. The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office (EDSO) believes that BWCs and other field recording technologies have aided in promoting civil rights, increasing the public’s access to justice, improving care for victims and witnesses, producing superior evidence in court, and building trust between law enforcement and the public. EDSO is in the implementation process for a broad scale BWC program. EDSO serves 193,000 citizens in suburban, rural, and custody settings. EDSO plans to outfit 175 sworn deputies and 90 non-sworn correctional officers with BWCs.

EDSO has prior experience implementing a similar program for in-car Mobile Audio/Video (MAV). Our MAV program has proven mutually beneficial to the public. However, the MAV cameras are stationary and often do not capture critical incidents. They lack the first-person perspective and context that is key to properly evaluating an incident. EDSO concluded that adding BWCs to the existing MAV program will significantly increase the ability to provide fair administration of justice including accountability to the public and the successful prosecution of crime.

There are various applications for the BWC program. EDSO intends to utilize them to ensure the best evidence is available for the prosecution of crimes. EDSO also intends to utilize them in administrative investigations to ensure all professional standards are adhered to. BWC footage will be made available to the public as all records are pursuant to FOIA and CPRA laws in support of the public. BWCs will also be used to identify ways to improve officer safety and public safety.

The primary activities of the BWC program includes outfitting EDSO employees with BWCs, gathering and retaining video footage, and using this footage in support of legal, administrative, and community goals. These activities are successful when the agency produces research, a well-established plan, comprehensive policies, training, infrastructure, implementation, data gathering, and monitoring. As required by this grant, the products and deliverables of this effort will cooperate with technical assistance (TTA). EDSO will adhere to the documentation, procurement, and participation requirements as well. The stakeholders in the EDSO BWC project include the public, the employees of this agency, law enforcement, the media, victim advocates, allied agencies, judges, and juries.

Date Created: December 20, 2021