WEST HOLLYWOOD— On Wednesday, August 12, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that Los Angeles County deputies will begin getting body-worn cameras in October.
Sheriff Villanueva said that 1,200 deputies are to receive the cameras. These will be deputies from five patrol stations—Lancaster, Century, Lakewood, Industry and West Hollywood. The department has entered into an agreement with Axon Enterprise Inc. and is expected to spend $25 million over five years for 5,200 cameras.
About 20 percent of Los Angeles County’s deputies have bought cameras for themselves, according to L.A. county’s inspector general in 2017.
“In today’s climate, where everyone is doubting the product of law enforcement, I can say honestly, that with the body-worn cameras, the public themselves can see that what deputies are saying and doing in the field matches what they’re seeing on video. That has been the experience of all agencies with body-worn cameras, because by and large, deputies, police officers everywhere are doing the right thing for the right reasons, and sometimes under very trying circumstances, dangerous circumstances, where lives are at stake,” said Sheriff Villanueva.
He added: “This is a big step forward for transparency for the Sheriff’s Department and for the community as well.”
Sheriff Villanueva has maintained that delay in giving out body-worn cameras was not caused by him, but by the board. The sheriff and the board have taken issues to court in the past, like the rehiring of Deputy Caren Mandoyan.