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Grant Helps Sheriff’s Department Complete Body-Worn Camera Deployment

October 3, 2016

CameraRIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a $577,900 grant from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for the next two years. The two-year grant will help fund the expansion of the existing Body-Worn Camera (BWC) program to cover the remaining nine patrol stations with staff who do not have this equipment.

This grant, and local matching funds, will provide about 1,000 BWCs to uniformed patrol personnel working in all unincorporated areas and for our contract law enforcement partners. The Sheriff’s Department has developed a fielding plan that provides a phased-in approach that will provide BWCs throughout patrol operations over the grant’s two year duration.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has conducted BWC testing and small scale deployments over the last 8 years. The first station wide deployment of these devices to all employees began at the Jurupa Valley Station in March 2015. The Jurupa Valley Station deployment validated that the presence of BWC positively alters potential confrontations between deputies and the public and results in a reduction in personnel complaints.

As a direct result of the Jurupa Valley Station testing process and discussions with the various employee labor unions, the Sheriff’s policy covering the use of BWC units in field operations and the storage and use of the resulting video was issued in January 2016. The policy remains in effect for those BWCs currently in use and employees will be trained in that policy as part of a measured rollout of devices provided by this grant. The Department will also look to expand beyond patrol to courts and jail operations after appropriate testing and study has been completed.

Due to the current budget challenges within Riverside County, Sheriff Sniff aggressively pursued alternate funding mechanisms to bring this technology forward in a cost effective manner. The grant requires a 50% match of county funds which will be used to expand the existing internal storage hardware as well as provide about 250 of the 1,000 BWCs needed. Matching funds will be provided by existing asset forfeiture accounts and Riverside County Human Resources & Risk Management Division.

Sheriff Sniff and the leadership of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department remain committed to providing citizens with efficient and professional law enforcement service, supplying those dedicated men and women who provide front-line law enforcement services with the best tools available to help them with their difficult jobs, and implementing modern technological advances, wherever reasonable, to advance those goals and keep them safe as they pass in harm’s way daily while protecting our communities.

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