Board Anticipates Greater Accountability and Transparency

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, right, announces the rollout of body-worn cameras for deputies during a news conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. Villanueva said 1,200 deputies in five patrol stations will receive the body cameras beginning Oct. 1. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio) The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – The contract for the body-worn camera program that will ensure greater accountability of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been finalized, enabling the Department to now order cameras and equipment at its discretion starting today.

Following months of collaborative efforts with the County, the Sheriff’s Department and Axon Enterprise, Inc. entered a fully executed agreement for a Body-Worn Camera and Digital Evidence Management System.

The rollout of the camera program will be able to equip 5,200 deputies and security officers with devices over the next two years utilizing the nearly $35 million that the Board of Supervisors set aside last year specifically dedicated for this program.

“I am pleased that the contract for Body-Worn Cameras has been finalized and the Sheriff can move forward with providing cameras to the deputies expeditiously. This is an important opportunity to ensure much needed transparency and accountability to our communities and those that we serve,” said Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

Since 2012, the Board has been proactive in enacting key policy initiatives and identifying appropriate funding and staffing to allow for the swift implementation and operation of the body-worn camera program.

“Since joining the Board of Supervisors, I have prioritized greater transparency and accountability from the Sheriff’s Department,” said Los Angeles County Board Chair Pro Tem Hilda L. Solis. “As part of that strategy, I have advocated for body-worn cameras. Body-worn cameras, when used as intended, can increase transparency in policing and promote accountability among our law enforcement agencies.”

“George Floyd and Andres Guardado are sobering reminders of the critical need for transparency and accountability in law enforcement,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Along with robust and independent oversight of the Sheriff’s Department, body-worn cameras are essential for ensuring constitutional policing and for building trust in the communities that our deputies are sworn to protect and serve.”

“Body-worn cameras are an important tool for transparency and I have been advocating to get them to our Sheriff’s deputies since Sheriff Jim McDonnell was in office,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn.  “The videos these cameras capture will give us a clearer understanding of what actually happens in the interactions between our deputies and members of the public.”

The finalizing of this contract is a culmination of ongoing efforts by the Board of Supervisors who will continue their commitment to prioritize greater transparency and accountability from the Sheriff’s Department.