vest cam

Oakland Police Must Step Up Use Of Vest Cameras

If you’re an Oakland police officer, there are now three things you should not leave home without. Your badge, your gun and your trusty personal data recording device – more commonly called a vest camera. The most recently published report on the Oakland Police Department’s efforts to meet a set of decade-old, court-ordered reforms found the department slipped in making progress and noted that police officer use of vest cameras is still falling short. Independent monitor Robert Warshaw’s 16th quarterly report, which covered the period from July to September, said some officers failed to activate cameras at critical times while others went weeks without replacements waiting for broken cameras to be repaired. "In too many instances, there are questions about the measure to which personnel throughout the Department understand the use, review, and utility of these devices. During our early reviews of the (cameras) we found that officers often failed to activate their devices during interactions with subjects who were being arrested, and in incidents where force was used." Warshaw’s report also suggested that there was little oversight to ensure the cameras were used properly. Current department policy requires mandatory use of vest cameras by every officer who is issued one, said Interim Police Chief Sean Whent. The department has issued vest cameras to all of its 460 patrol officers and maintains a reserve supply of about 70, Whent said. But mandatory overtime, which requires detectives and sergeants to work patrol shifts, along with occasional equipment breakdowns, have created […]