Ontario,Fontana, Colton & SB PDs Equiping Officers With Body Cameras

(December 16)  ONTARIO—The Ontario and Fontana police departments have become the third and fourth San Bernardino County law enforcement agencies to outfit their officers with body-worn video cameras.
And the San Bernardino Police chief this week indicated his department will soon initiate trial use of the devices and will likely outfit all or most of its street officers with them by mid-year.
The cameras, which are about half the size of a five-stick pack of chewing gum, offer a video perspective virtually identical to the field of vision of the officers wearing them, documenting their field activity. The devices also record ambient sound.
The camera system Ontario has adopted is manufactured by Taser International and entails accompanying software that channels the moving images recorded by the devices to a secured cloud storage bank. That data can then be accessed by means of computer, smartphone or Bluetooth functions. The cameras are worn on an officer’s glasses, sunglasses, lapel or shoulder.
Ontario PD explored the use of the technology through trial use of eight such cameras worn by selected officers from February through October. In November, the department acquired 200 of the devices. The city is paying Taser International $1.1 million for five years to provide enough of the cameras, mounting devices, accessories, and storage capacity for the entire force. The devices come with a warranty.
Fontana PD, at present is in the process of evaluating the cameras supplied to it by unspecified suppliers.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan this week told the city council he will undertake a pilot program testing the use of body-worn police cameras by February and acquire enough cameras for his patrol officers within four to six months.
The camera programs, at present, are funded by the state of California through Proposition 30, which passed in November 2012. Within the last several weeks, President Barack Obama proposed a three-year, $263 million investment package to boost law enforcement professionalism, including earmarking $75 million intended as a 50 percent match for departments purchasing body cameras. Burguan said he was using AB 109 grant money to purchase the cameras for his department. He estimated the cost at $250,000.
The city of Colton ordered dozens of the devices for its officers earlier this month.
Officers with Rialto PD have been using the devices since August 2013 and those with Chino PD were outfitted with them in December 2013.

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