(Click on photos to enlarge images)
In January of 2016, the Long Beach City Council approved a Body Worn Camera (BWC) contract with Dell, Inc./Utility Associates, Inc. A $210,000 contract was issued for the purchase of cameras, modems, software, cloud storage, training and technical support. A pilot program was initiated in November 2016, and consisted of 40 cameras that were assigned to West Division patrol officers and supervisors who were deployed on the afternoon shift. During the pilot program, the South Patrol Division was re-established and the patrol deployment was separated allowing for cameras to be utilized in both geographical patrol divisions. The operational pilot program concluded in November 2017 and officers continued to utilize the BWCs in the field as the results of the program were evaluated.
In February 2018, Utility Inc. provided the LBPD with the opportunity to test and evaluate a new model of body worn camera, which was loaned to the City at no additional cost. After a comprehensive review of both camera models, the LBPD has determined that while the department believes strongly in the overall value of body warn cameras, the current technology does not suitably meet the needs of the department and the City.
Chief Robert Luna stated, “The City and the LBPD are committed to implementing effective body worn camera technology to promote officer safety, ensure accountability, and strengthen community trust. The LBPD will be taking immediate steps to work with the City’s Financial Management and Technology and Innovation Departments to issue a new Request for Proposals for body worn camera devices.”
Proposals received will be reviewed and evaluated as part of the City’s established procurement process. Upon City Council approval of a new contract, the LBPD will work with the new vendor on implementation, field testing, and evaluation of the new equipment.
“Our goal with the body worn camera program is to help enhance community trust and underscore law enforcement legitimacy and accountability,” said Chief of Police Robert Luna, “The use of this video technology can provide additional documentation of interactions between the community and the officers serving it.”