San Luis Obispo pursues grant for police body cameras

The San Luis Obispo City Council last week approved an application for a $150,000 grant with the U.S. Department of Justice for police body cameras to expand the city’s current program.

The city would match the grant, if approved, by up to $75,000, as part of the grant requirement. That money could come from the city’s Board of State and Community Corrections account, money which is awarded annually to San Luis Obispo and other municipalities in the county since fiscal year 2013. The current account balance is about $92,000.

Last year, the city purchased 10 body-worn cameras, which were paid for with carry-over funds from the 2014-15 budget. The city also developed a policy and implemented a pilot program relating to the devices.

The city plans to equip all of its police officers with cameras to document incidents, address issues relating to the public perception of police behavior, protect officers from false allegations and protect civilians from rogue behavior.