Santee, CA–Sheriff’s deputies have begun wearing body cameras at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee.
This is the first phase of implementation with 72 cameras assigned to deputies, specialized units and supervisors within the facility. The first body cameras were deployed on February 25, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
“This is ultimately about the safety of the people in our custody and those who work in our facilities. Having body cameras in our jails will also strengthen our relationship with the community by increasing accountability and trust,” Acting Sheriff Kelly Martinez said.
A dedicated room was built at Las Colinas to house the docking stations for the body cameras. Significant upgrades were also made to the electrical and network infrastructure around the jail to efficiently facilitate the charging and transfer of data.
Ongoing surveys are being collected from those participating in the pilot program. Their feedback will improve policies and procedures, identify best practices for training, as well as make necessary adjustments to operations and security as this program is phased into other jails.
Body-worn cameras were implemented in San Diego County Sheriff’s Department patrol operations in 2017. It has always been the goal to include their detention operations, and this pilot program will be expanded to all facilities as the infrastructure is built out. Video footage provides critical evidence for investigation of incidents and resolution of complaints. Body-worn cameras will supplement stationary cameras and other systems at detention facilities.
Detention Services Bureau Policy and Procedure Section I.20 outlines when a deputy may turn the camera on and off with respect to an inmate’s rights and privacy.