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Santa Barbara - South County

Santa Barbara police to turn on body cameras later this year

Santa Barbara Police get green light to purchase body-worn cameras
Body-worn camera
Tracy Lehr / NewsChannel 3-12

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Police Department got the green light to purchase body worn cameras.

Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the police department, said the WatchGuard body cameras will compliment the WatchGuard audio and video cameras they have mounted in about 50 patrol cars.

They started using them five year ago after trying cameras from about six other vendors.

"The police department is absolutely supportive of trust, transparency and accountability that comes with capturing these types of videos," said Wagner.

The department will have a lot of data to store.

"Now the council has authorized $220,000 to supplement the system we already have, to up-size. That allows us to buy cameras for our patrol and to get a hardware system to capture all of that data," Wagner said.

An officer will be assigned to work with the data storage system and the District Attorney.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said, "I am always in support of any mechanism that shines a light on the actions of any of our public servants.

The day-to-day video must be stored for a couple of years, while video used in a legal case must be stored longer.

Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo said "We wants community-focused policing and a fair criminal justice system, body cams are part of that solution."

The new system should be up and running in 3-6 months.

Crime / Local Politics / Safety
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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