Chino Second SB County City To Equip Police Officers With Body Cameras

(November 25)  Chino PD will become the second police department in the county to outfit its officers with body cameras, which will make video recordings of their interaction with the community during patrol and routine operations.
Rialto was the first city in San Bernardino County and among the first cities nationwide to arm the entirety of its street police force with the miniaturized devices. The cameras, worn on the uniforms, belts or eyeglasses of the officers are distinct from vehicle cameras, which have been in vogue with many police departments for a decade or more.
As of September 1, body cameras became standard issue equipment with all of Rialto’s police officers.
On November 19, the Chino City Council voted unanimously to authorize the expenditure of $295,825 to purchase 100 Taser Axon Flex on-officer video recorders and related equipment.
According to police chief Miles Pruitt, “The Chino Police Department currently equips its field personnel with digital audio recorders to record contacts with the public for use in court proceedings, report preparation and review, complaint investigations and internal reviews.   These recordings have proven extremely beneficial to field personnel, the police department and the community as a whole as they help increase the level of professionalism and transparency in regards to police interactions with the public.
“With the rapid evolution of portable video recorders, technology now allows for field personnel to capture video and audio of their field encounters.” Pruitt continued. “While technology has long existed which allows for the installation of video recorders in police vehicles. The benefits of such systems are limited due to the fact they only capture events which occur directly in front
of the vehicle, while ignoring the many encounters field personnel engage in and away from their vehicles. Over the past few years, the police department has monitored the evolution
of video camera technology. The department recognizes the critical importance on-officer video plays in modern law enforcement and its ability to help the department provide the increased levels of service anticipated from new development in the city of Chino.”
Pruitt elaborated, “In today’s world, the prevalence of surveillance cameras and cellular phone cameras often results in short video clips that fail to capture the full scope and nature of any given event. This often leads to incomplete video clips showing police personnel in an unfavorable light. On-officer video counters this problem by providing video recordings which tell the story from the officer’s perspective.”
According to Pruitt, the system the city is purchasing is a superior product to other body cameras.
“The Taser Axon Flex system has a 30-second pre-event buffer that captures video for the 30 seconds prior to the officer activating the recording function, effectively allowing for
officers to reach back in time and record critical events which happened before the officer could activate the system,” Pruitt said. “Over the last two years, the police department has been involved in the testing and evaluation of various on-officer video solutions. In an effort to identify the best solution for the department’s needs, each potential solution was evaluated using the following criteria: portability, video/audio quality, ease of use, mounting options, video management capability, pre-event recording capabilities, cost of purchase and maintenance, and vendor profiles and sustainability. Staff tested the three leading systems and concluded the Taser Axon Flex camera and the media storage solution were ideally suited to the needs of the department. The Axon Flex Camera provides multiple mounting options, records high quality video/audio, is small and lightweight, has pre-event recording (30 seconds), is reasonably priced, and is manufactured by a leading law enforcement technology manufacturer with a strong history of quality and success.”
Pruitt said the Axon Flex system goes hand-in-glove with the data storage system the city will purchase with it.
“The system provides a secure and seamless cloud-based storage solution requiring only internet access to upload the video/audio files to Taser’s secure, encrypted servers,” Pruitt said. “Furthermore, the system has been court tested and is currently in use by numerous police agencies,  including the Rialto Police Department.
Finally, the platform provides robust access control and accountability while having no physical on-site storage  requirements.”
Pruitt said that “As new residential, commercial and industrial development continues to come online in the city, the police department is anticipating a corresponding increase in calls for service.  Deployment of the proposed on-officer video system will help the department and its officers meet these increased service needs through higher productivity and enhanced customer  service.”
The projected cost to implement this project is $295,825. Taser International of Scottsdale, Arizona manufactures the product.
The city will pay $73,238 for 100 of the cameras, and $166,200 to for data storage. One year of maintenance comes with the purchase of the cameras and the city will pay $33,728 for an additional two years of maintenance. Tax and shipping on the cameras will run to $22,659.

Leave a Reply