San Diego County Sheriff’s Department begins body-camera pilot program

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – 9:30 a.m. – A 90-day pilot program in which some sheriff’s deputies at stations across San Diego County will test uniform-worn cameras got underway Friday.

Sworn personnel with the sheriff’s department’s Rancho San Diego Station, Lakeside Substation, Vista Station, Rural Command, North Coastal Station and Hall of Justice contingent are taking part in the three-month trial period of the cameras, which record video and audio records of law enforcement officers’ interactions with the public.

The pilot program involves equipment from three companies — WatchGuard Video, TASER International and Vievu — each with a 30-day field-testing phase, according to sheriff’s public affairs. WatchGuard Video cameras will be the first tested.

2/1/2016 – San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore announced the launch of body-worn cameras (BWCs) to six San Diego area Departments Monday. The six locations include: Rancho San Diego Station, Lakeside Substation, Vista Station, North Coastal Station, Rural Command, and deputies assigned to the Hall of Justice.

The BWCs will be launched as part of a 90-day trial period where three companies (WatchGuard Video, TASER International and Vievu) will each have a 30-day in-field trial phase. The pilot program will be launched on Friday, February 5th and the first testing cycle will include a system from the company, WatchGuard Video.

In August 2014, the Sheriff’s Department established a BWC Committee to explore the suitability and feasibility of BWCs. Research included companies and equipment, best practices for storage of the metadata and a comprehensive protocol and policy for the application of BWCs. The committee consisted of representatives from the Sheriff’s Department’s Data Services Division, Training Unit, Contracts Division, Patrol and Detentions.

During the past 18 months, the committee also met with other law enforcement agencies to discuss their particular experiences with BWCs. These agencies included the San Diego, Escondido, Chula Vista and Carlsbad Police Departments, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Mesa, Arizona Police Department.

The Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) was also consulted for their assistance in helping better assess the technology and how it will best serve the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and community.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was released on March 20, 2015 to commence the selection of a provider for the BWCs.

Sheriff Gore commented, "This is one of the most significant programs we have initiated since I was elected Sheriff, and I want to do it the right way – for our personnel, and for our communities."

All deputies who participate in this trial phase will receive training conducted by the BWC providers. At the conclusion of the entire testing phase, trial participants will provide feedback for review and analysis. Information from this trial will be used in the final selection of the RFP process.

Body Worn Camera Fast Facts: 

  • Length of Pilot Program: 90 days
  • Length for Each Vendor: 30 days
  • Vendors: WatchGuard Video
  • Taser International
  • Vievu
  • Number/Locations of Cameras: Vista: 22 Cameras
  • Rancho San Diego: 16 Cameras
  • North Coastal: 15 Cameras
  • Hall of Justice : 12 Cameras
  • Lakeside: 8 Cameras
  • Rural: 2 Cameras
Categories: KUSI