San Diego’s Police Body Camera Test Yields Positive Results

San Diego residents have complained less about the use of body cameras on police officers following an experiment that tested the equipment.

SAN DIEGO – An experiment conducted by the San Diego Police Department where officers wear body cameras has produced promising results, according to officials.

In January 2014, the San Diego Police Department began testing the use of body cameras on its officers, two months before city leaders called for an audit of the department’s managerial practices by the U.S. Department of Justice, The Washington Post reports.

A report developed by Police Department for the City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee revealed that since the experiment, the use of body cameras by police officers has led to fewer complaints by residents and less use of force by officers.

Results showed that complaints on the use of body cameras have fallen 40.5%, while the and use of “personal body” force by officers has been reduced by 46.5% and use of pepper spray by 30.5%.

As a result, the report recommended that the department give body cameras to its officers. Currently, 600 officers have the cameras, but by the year’s end, nearly 1,000 officers will be equipped with the small cameras, including patrol officers, gang-unit officers and motorcycle officers.

Although, results of the experiment yielded positive results, there are still some concerns. For example, officials need to determine how much and under what conditions video footage will be released to the public.

Additionally, privacy issues still remain a matter interest for residents.

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