San Diego police officers began training Monday on using body cameras mounted on their chest, collar and glasses.
The cameras come in light of allegations of criminal activity and sexual misconduct against officers over the past several months. San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the cameras will serve as a safeguard for the times when these allegations arise.
“It’s all about public trust,” she said. “Not only does it hold the officer accountable, it also holds the public accountable.”
The body cameras – which will be first rolled out in the Central, South Eastern and Mid-City divisions -- will always be on,
An officer will activate the camera during all enforcement contacts and radio calls where suspects are known to be present, excluding certain crimes such as Child Abuse, Sex Crimes or other extenuating circumstances covered in the policy.
Officers should activate their cameras prior to actual contact with the citizen, or as soon as safely possible thereafter. Once the camera has been activated, it will capture video 30 seconds prior to the actual activation in addition to the current footage.
The first 75 cameras can be used as soon as officers are trained and the ports have been wired at the divisions.
Then, 225 additional cameras are expected to be rolled out in July or August, Zimmerman said.
What happens if an officer decides not to hit record on his body camera?
"If the officer makes a terrible decision that they're not going to record an enforcement contact, once this training phase is over then they will absolutely be subject to disciplinary procedures," Zimmerman said.