Policy needed on police body camera use

Posted 4 years ago

Policy needed on police body camera use

DATE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2016 CONTACT: Michael Kreizenbeck PHONE: (916) 607-1854
EMAIL: kreizenbeck@gmail.com
Mayoral Candidate Lori Saldaña Calls for Action
on Urgent Public Safety Matter:
“San Diegans Deserve Transparency and Decisive Leadership”

Following the issuance of a City Attorney report, giving responsibility for decisions on the release of police body camera videos to the Mayor’s office, former State Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña is criticizing Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s lack of leadership on the issue.

“San Diegans deserve transparency and decisive leadership when it comes to matters of life and death, public safety and the public’s right to a transparent investigation,” according to Saldaña. “For nearly a year, the current Mayor has been silent on these important matters. He’s been silent despite the shooting death of an unarmed man with mental illness. He was silent after a local court battle ruled against the city on withholding the video of the shooting. And he’s been silent despite other mayor’s around the country dealing with similar issues in a timely fashion.

“Mayor Faulconer’s silence and delays in addressing this serious issue shows his inability to develop sound public policy. It is a gross disservice to all San Diegans who are concerned about public safety, and another example of how out of touch the Mayor is with valid concerns voiced by city residents.”

While serving in the state legislature, Saldaña partnered with prosecutors and law enforcement officials around California, and earned their support on several public safety bills. In 2010 she introduced legislation to ban the open carry of firearms in California; the measure is now law. Researching this bill helped her understand the challenges of maintaining safety for both the public and law enforcement officers while carrying out their duties.

According to Saldaña, “Police body cameras have been studied and policies developed by other law enforcement departments around the country. San Diego should be no excep`on to this process. It’s another reason the city needs a stronger Citizen Review Board, with increased powers similar to the County’s Board, so they can review these recordings, and advise the Mayor on their release.”

Retired San Diego Police Officer Anne O’Dell agrees with this approach, noting: "In almost all cases, police-worn cameras support the actions of police officers. I know how quickly situations involving deadly force can quickly turn from manageable to tragic. The cameras can be a way to increase public confidence in law enforcement, and the technology can be used to train other officers to be prepared for similar situations.”

Saldaña is calling for public debates as part of the Mayoral election, to discuss this issue and other proposals.

Assemblywoman Saldaña is available for additional remarks and interviews.

Please contact Michael Kreizenbeck at (916) 607-1854 or Kreizenbeck@gmail.com.



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