Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $580,000)
Placer County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is prepared to begin its Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Program and is well-positioned and well-qualified to implement a successful program. In 2016, PCSO publicly announced its commitment to the implementation of a BWC program as a top priority; despite numerous challenges, this commitment has remained unchanged.
When fully implemented, the program will consist of approximately 437 cameras issued to all deputies and executive staff, with 130 of those cameras for use in the Sheriff’s Correctional Division. PCSO has chosen leasing, rather than purchase, as it’s more cost-effective and a more fiscally predictable approach for technology-based programs.
The goals and objectives include but are not limited to the following:
(1) Increased accountability and transparency. By providing a video record of law enforcement activities, officials reported that BWCs make operations more transparent to the public and help to resolve questions following an encounter between officers and members of the public.
(2) Increased trust with the community through the reduction of complaints and resolving officer-involved incidents. The mere presence of a camera can lead to more civil interactions between officers and the public, and that the act of being recorded tends to elevate behavior on both sides of the camera.
(3) Increased officer safety through identifying and addressing operational or performance issues. Using video footage to provide scenario-based training, to evaluate the performance of new officers in the field, and to identify emerging areas where training or policy revision is needed to maintain or elevate performance related to tactics, communication, and customer service.
(4) Supporting crime victims through better evidence collection and documentation. Unlike our in-car cameras, BWCs can capture more evidence at a crime scene. Video evidence is particularly helpful in providing evidence in domestic violence cases that can be difficult to prosecute when evidence is sometimes insufficient for trial.
(5) Advancing civil rights. By ensuring we have a robust policy for our BWC program, which is committed to a narrow set of well-defined purposes for which the cameras may be used. Combined with clear operational policies for recording, retention and access we believe our BWC program will help enhance civil rights in our community.
The beneficiaries of this program include: (1) Citizens of Placer County; (2) Persons visiting Placer County, including 2-3 million visitors to Lake Tahoe annually; (3) Persons doing business in Placer County; (4) Employees of PCSO; (5) Victims of crime in Placer County