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San Diego County jail systems adding body cameras to security plans

Body Cameras
Body Cameras
Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 23:43:44-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County Deputies are now wearing body cameras at jails to increase safety and provide transparent interactions with inmates.

The Sheriff's department rolled out the pilot program at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility (LCDRF) on February 25.

"This is the first phase of implementation with 72 cameras assigned to deputies, specialized units, and supervisors within the facility," the department said in a statement Tuesday.

The department hopes the extra cameras will help reduce violence and hold both inmates and guards accountable.

"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," said Acting Sheriff Kelly Martinez.

The department will collect feedback from staff participating in the pilot program. They said this would help improve procedures and identify best practices for training. This program will be phased into other jails in the coming months.

Body cameras were implemented in San Diego County Sheriff's Department patrol operations in 2017.

"Video footage provides critical evidence for the investigation of incidents and resolution of complaints. Body-worn cameras will supplement stationary cameras and other systems at detention facilities," the department said in a news release.

Jails are not public spaces, and given the privacy and security restrictions, there's only so much transparency body cameras can provide. The Detention Services Bureau Policy and Procedure outlines when a deputy may turn the camera on and off for an inmate's rights and privacy.

Located in Santee on Riverview Parkway, the LCDRF serves as the primary intake point for women prisoners in San Diego County.