Herald American

Downey approves body cameras for police

DOWNEY — Police officials and residents will get a more accurate account of officers’ actions in the coming weeks as the entire patrol division soon will be wearing body cameras. They will be the first area department to utilize that equipment.

The City Council June 9 approved purchase of 112 digital body worn cameras and accessories at a cost of about $660 per camera. With accessories the cost comes to $84,671, Police Chief Carl Charles said.

Also purchased was Dell high capacity data storage and networking equipment, totaling $38,828.

The council approved the purchase unanimously without comment.

Several weeks ago Charles told The Wave his department was conducting a pilot program in March with five officers wearing the cameras, two in the motorcycle division, two night shift patrol officers and one  on day shift.

“All officers using the cameras were impressed with the simplicity of both the use and the uploading of videos,” Charles said in a written report to the council.

The camera is small, lightweight and allows the officers to have comfort and easy accessibility. The camera records high definition video with a 130-degree field of view, consists of an on/off button and has 10 to 54 hours of recording time, Charles said.

It is operated by a battery with a life of three to four hours at a time. There are two batteries per unit.