Following Yearlong Pilot Program, Long Beach Police Seek New Vendor for Body Worn Cameras

Body worn cameras used during a pilot program from November 2016 to November 2017. Photos courtesy of LBPD.

The Long Beach Police Department announced today it is working with city officials to look for a new vendor for body worn cameras after testing out two other brands over the last year and a half.

“After a comprehensive review of both camera models, the LBPD has determined that while the department believes strongly in the overall value of body worn cameras, the current technology does not suitably meet the needs of the department and the City,” police officials stated.

The first camera model tested by the LBPD was approved by the Long Beach City Council in January 2016 along with a $210,000 contract with Dell, Inc./Utility Associates, Inc. for the purchase of cameras, modems, software, cloud storage, training and technical support.

A pilot program was then launched in November 2016 that consisted of 40 cameras assigned to the West Division patrol officers and supervisors deployed on the afternoon shift and later split with the South Patrol Division when it was re-established. Authorities said the cameras were used in both geographical patrol divisions.

The Westside was originally picked for the pilot program because that is where citizen complaints against the police are historically high, LBPD Chief Robert Luna said previously.

Long Beach Police Department to Roll out Body Camera Pilot Program

While the program ended in November 2017, officers continued to use the cameras in the field as the program’s results were being evaluated, according to officials.

The new body camera model was provided on loan and at no cost to the department by Utility Inc. this February to test and evaluate.

“The City and the LBPD are committed to implementing effective body worn camera technology to promote officer safety, ensure accountability, and strengthen community trust,” stated Luna. “The LBPD will be taking immediate steps to work with the City’s Financial Management and Technology and Innovation Departments to issue a new Request for Proposals for body worn camera devices.”

Any proposals received will be reviewed and evaluated through the city’s procurement process. Once the city council approves a new contract, LBPD officials said they will work with the new vendor on implementing, field testing and evaluating the new equipment.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.
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