The San Luis Obispo Police Department has begun a pilot program to test out a limited number of officer body-worn cameras, with the goal to have all officers outfitted with the technology within two years.
Beginning immediately, the department will assign 10 cameras to selected patrol officers “to evaluate their compatibility and efficiency in the many environments that police officers work,” according to a news release.
In January, the department formed a committee consisting of city staff and representatives from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the media, residents and a member of an outside police department to examine different body camera technology and draft department policy regarding best uses of the cameras.
The group will continue to meet quarterly during the pilot program to evaluate progress and review potential policy concerns.
Should the program be deemed successful, the department intends to outfit all officers with cameras, as anticipated in the city’s 2015-17 Financial Plan.
Officers will be expected to activate their cameras in all enforcement and investigative situations, including traffic stops and other contacts with citizens that have the potential to become adversarial, according to the department.
The cameras will be worn conspicuously, though officers are not required under California law to inform citizens that they are recording their interaction.