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Santa Monica Police Assessing Body Cameras’ Effectiveness
By Jonathan Friedman
June 2, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) completed a six-month pilot program in March in which some officers and civilian personnel wore body cameras. And now the department is working with researchers at Cal State Fullerton to determine the effectiveness of those cameras.
This research could lead to permanent usage of the body cameras.
“A comprehensive and measured evaluation is underway to assess the pilot program’s effectiveness in terms of legislative requirements, the needs of the police department, and community expectations,” the SMPD wrote on its website.
The statement continues, “Following the post-pilot surveying effort, all data and information collected will be evaluated to determine the feasibility of permanently implementing the [body camera] program.”
While this research is taking place, SMPD personnel, both those who were and were not involved in the pilot program, have the option of continuing to use body cameras.
The SMPD did not specify how many people, if any, took up this option.
That has been the case for several cities that have implemented body camera programs on either a trial or permanent basis.
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