All officers engaged in field operations will deploy a body worn camera.
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Officers are encouraged to use the cameras whenever possible. They will be required to activate them during field contacts, on radio calls and enforcement stops, and anytime they feel the camera may be useful. In addition, the cameras we chose are also utilized as digital audio recorders and still cameras which will aid in recovery of evidence and reduce the equipment issued to officers.
No. The video captured with the body worn camera is considered an investigative record per Government Code Section 6254(f). The department will comply fully with the Public Records Act as it applies to body worn cameras, but considers all footage exempt from disclosure, except as is determined otherwise by department officials or a court of law.
Furthermore, one of the most critical issues for the public interacting with the police is privacy. People often seek police assistance when they are going through a difficult time. Juveniles, victims and arrestees have strong privacy protections, in part to mitigate the negative impact of open information. The Fontana Police Department is committed to protect the safety and privacy of all individuals who interact with the police.
All video will be stored for a period consistent with state law and the requirements of the organization to aid in prosecution and civil litigation.
Officers are encouraged to tell the public when they are being recorded. However, it is not a requirement to do so.
The presence of a body worn camera or any recording device has proven to increase professionalism from both officers and citizens and reduce some incidents of violent public interactions.
Recordings also give staff the ability to conduct administrative reviews and audits of both individual recordings and the overall program, in accordance with our policy. Recordings may also be reviewed by staff to improve service levels, tactics, and training for our employees.
Our policy states that officers outfitted with a camera will turn it on when an interaction with a member of the public is initiated and the camera will remain on during the interaction. There are few exceptions to this, such as situations where there is a privacy concern that would make it inappropriate to record, requiring a shift in priority to the protection of privacy in certain environments.