The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will purchase additional body-worn cameras that deputies will put to the test. The Board of Supervisors approved the use of revenue from the sheriff department’s asset forfeiture funds.
According to Deputy Albert Martinez, the sheriff’s department has been conducting ongoing tests of various brands of body-worn cameras over the past few years.
To date, the testing has generally shown that body-worn cameras exonerate the actions of deputies when complaints are made, making it far easier in defending against lawsuits and resolving complaints, Deputy Martinez said in a release. The sheriff’s department believes that the use of body-worn cameras will help agency accountability and transparency, reduce agency liability, and allow the department to review past incidents to reduce false complaints.
Officials said the body cams can also help with criminal prosecution and highlight deputy performance and professionalism. Deputies taking part in the pilot programs have been very positive and supportive of the body-worn cameras, but there’s still a lot of work required before the devices will even be considered as a department-wide mandate.
The sheriff’s department said after the new equipment arrives it will be tested by patrol deputies at the Jurupa Valley Station.
Testing of the cameras will continue over the next year or two.