Chula Vista police expand use of body cams

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Chula Vista police expand use of body cams

Body Camera SDPD.JPG

Good move Chula Vista Police.

Video is such a great tool for the field of law. It is a memorialization of what happened. It helps both law enforcement and those accused. One key point I wonder is how long will the video be stored and not purged. For instance, someone accused of a San Diego DUI may be able to show they were in fact not the driver of a vehicle. The video would show who exited the drivers side. However, the police would not be wanting the video. It would be defense counsel. A person has to be arrested, get out of jail, find and retain and attorney. The attorney would have to gather facts before they would even have a chance to subpoena the video.

The CHP has Dash Cam videos called MVARS. The video is an effective tool in discerning how the San Diego DUI stop went. I have had situations where the client said something was said or done that just was not on the video. The fact it did not happen helped resolved the issues the client had and the case was resolved.

It could be weeks…. would the video be there? It is something to consider when choosing a video program. There is several instances when you realize incidents occur that the video could settle what happened.

As a former prosecutor and now as defense it was frustrating to try to obtain video only to find out it has been purged. The first part of advocating for clients is knowing as many resources to aid them. This video can be one of those aids.

I am proud to say SDPD (San Diego Police) has been implementing the body cameras earlier. The devices are not on every officer, which makes it tough because it is not known whether the officer is one that is fixed with the body camera. For example, most who deal with San Diego DUIs know that every CHP car has an MVARs video.

It is awesome that Chula Vista Police is jumping in on this.

For all sides in the matter I hope the body cameras become an everyday tool of law enforcement.

The full article can be found here.

Pressing a button twice turns on the cameras. They are then able to record both video and audio.

Officers are required to turn the cameras on before an anticipated enforcement action. Officers who fail to turn the cameras on will face disciplinary action, according to the department.

“It tells everyone that we have nothing to hide and everything they do is being video-taped and captured,” said Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano.

Bejarano added that citizen complaints have dropped 40 – 50 percent among other departments since the cameras went into action.

“We have seen a reduction in force…it changes the behavior of both parties,” said Bejarano.

The department hired 40 new officers in 2014 and used footage during field testing as a form of training.

If you are charged with a San Diego DUI or other Criminal offense, you need to call our firm immediately. We are available to take action on your case today. Please email or call us at 858-751-4384 or email me at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation. The key is to be proactive.