Sixty sheriff deputies assigned to the Highland and Apple Valley sheriffs’ stations are poised to begin a body camera pilot program.
During Tuesday’s meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, approval was given for a 18-month contract with Utility Associates Inc. for $121,932. The company will provide 80 body cameras, maintenance, software, in addition to the programming services required to launch the program.
The contract would run for 18 months from Tuesday, March 7, 2017 through Sept. 3, 2018, and be evaluated to determine the feasibility of expanding it countywide, according to a report prepared for county supervisors by the Sheriff’s Department.
In addition to body cameras, the Sheriff’s Department will also establish a repository to store and organize all files, primarily digital images and audio files, in a central location. Additionally, the department will also establish a repository to be used for the transfer and storage of existing digital image and audio files currently archived in different platforms with the Department.
According to San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, the pilot program is the first step in the Department’s plan to explore the feasibility of deploying BWCS throughout the county. It is designed to collect information that would allow for an in-depth evaluation of the technology, system design, and resources required for the implementation of a comprehensive solution to be deployed throughout the Sheriff’s patrol stations and detention facilities in the future.
McMahon also provided information to the Board regarding why the contract covers a period of 18 months when the trial is only scheduled to run 12 months. According to documents provided to the Board by McMahon, the contract term of 18 months is necessary to allow for the completion of infrastructure design, hardware and software installation, uniform modifications, system testing and other program requirements that need to be met before the pilot project commences.
Upon completion of the pilot, the Sheriff’s Department will assess the effectiveness of the program and the subsequent financial impact to the county will be evaluated in consultation with other departments impacted by the program.