Posted on 09/04/2015

The first LAPD division with full deployment of body cameras completes successful first week as part of a larger Connected Officer initiative to harness the power of technology in policing.

After the first week of the initial rollout, Mayor Eric Garcetti today released the full details of his nation-leading Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) body-worn video camera initiative at the LAPD Mission Division in Mission Hills. The Mission Division received the first 250 of the initial 860-cameras donated by the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

Part of a larger Connected Officer initiative, the cameras are accompanied by smartphones that connect LAPD officers to the Internet and applications that help them do their jobs better. In the first two days of the rollout, approximately 1,000 videos were recorded.

Mission Division is the first of three divisions which will deploy the body cameras in the initial phase. Newton Division will roll out the cameras on Monday, September 14, followed by Central Traffic Division on Monday, September 28. By the end of 2016, body cameras will be distributed department-wide to 7,000 officers.

The cameras, manufactured by TASER International, Inc., are each accompanied by a fully equipped, connected smartphone -- a Samsung Galaxy S6 -- donated to the LAPD by Sprint. In addition to connecting officers to standard smartphone apps, Sprint will assist the Department with establishing an LAPD mobile app store and developing the first few mobile applications specifically created for officers. These apps will be designed to help officers in their daily work, and to connect them in the field to the LAPD's powerful data and digital capabilities.

"I'm proud that the LAPD continues to lead the nation, creating a model for 21st Century policing," said Mayor Garcetti. "The department is moving to use today's mobile, sensing, cloud, and Internet technologies to enhance their ability to do their jobs, better protect our city, and strengthen public trust. We're harnessing the power of technology to better provide one of the most basic city functions: public safety."

As part of the connected officer initiative, the LAPD has begun installing Wi-Fi in all of the city's police stations and facilities. The Wi-Fi access points and equipment are being donated by Ruckus Wireless.

"These cameras will revolutionize policing as we know it, not just for Los Angeles but nationwide," said Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Chair of the Public Safety Committee. "The same way the bulletproof vest quickly became a tool for every officer, these cameras and their ever-advancing technology will be an everyday tool to protect our officers and the public."

To support the vastly increased data needs of body-worn cameras, smartphones, and blue apps, the LAPD is leveraging the City's powerful fiber optic network to provide the necessary bandwidth for video transfer and storage. The first 860 cameras will require nearly as much bandwidth as more than 40,000 City of Los Angeles employees use today.

"The Connected Officer concept raises policing to the next level," said Chief Charlie Beck. "This connectivity redefines the officer experience and their ability to provide services to community. Furthermore, these devices allow officers to stay in the community longer, reducing the need to return to the police station."

The body camera rollout included a field testing period, during which the LAPD sought input from officers, non-profits, community groups, the ACLU, and the public -- including an online survey written by UCLA Professor Jeff Brantingham.

The LAPD also received a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice’s research arm, the National Institute of Justice, to study the impact of body-worn cameras on officer and citizen behavior. This study will be conducted in partnership with Justice and Security Strategies, as well as with academics from UCLA and George Mason University.

"Today is an important and historic day for the LAPD and for law enforcement nationwide," said Police Commission President Steve Soboroff. "I'm grateful for Mayor Garcetti's commitment to the expansion of this program from our initial phase to the 7,000-camera department-wide deployment, making this the largest body camera program in the U.S."


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Mayor Garcetti And LAPD Announce Body Camera Rollout