Fontana PD Launches Body Worn Camera Program
Fontana, Calif. – The Fontana Police Department will launch its body worn camera program with the deployment of 200 body worn cameras (BWC) by the end of August 2017. After two years of participating in product demonstrations and testing a variety of cameras the department has selected Visual Labs, a Silicon Valley startup as its BWC partner. Their software uses a smart device as a BWC and also serves as a digital camera, voice recorder and personnel locator. The all-in-one device allows for more versatility and operational efficiency. The Fontana Police Department is committed to utilizing the latest technology to assist in criminal prosecutions, civil litigation and enhance public trust.
The department is purchasing the body-worn cameras with a Department of Justice Body Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program $546,502 grant co-awarded to the Fontana Police Department and the San Bernardino Police Department in September of 2015. Both agencies, representing the largest and second largest cities in the county applied together to submit a competitive application.
The Fontana Police Department BWC Program will allow officers to generate video evidence in the course and scope of their duties per the City of Fontana Body Worn Camera Policy. “We are excited about this technology and the positive impacts it can have on our community and organization,” stated Police Chief Bob Ramsey. “We will use this as a tool to enhance public safety and ensure officers maintain the high standards of professionalism expected by the department.”
The department will focus on the impact of the BWC in the following areas:
- Enhance officer safety and agency accountability
- Increase public trust and confidence in the performance of our employees
- Enhance the quality of cases prepared and evidence collected and presented for prosecution
- Assist officers with report preparation and courtroom testimony
- Provide data to assist the department in evaluating and improving departmental policies and practices, officer safety/training/tactics and further develop police-community relations
The Fontana Police Department has dedicated considerable amount of time developing a policy and selecting a vendor to best meet the needs of the officers and the community. We have established a policy that allows for officers to exercise discretion during some of their contacts and investigations. “The use of this technology will be a transition for both our agency and our community,” added Chief Ramsey. “Our goal is to work together to make our program as successful as possible.”
The Fontana Police Department’s BWC Policy is available online and resulted from research and on-going discussions with BWC industry experts and community members. Our BWC team reviewed documents from allied agencies, attorneys, and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Fontana Police Department also participated in training/discussions with BWC panelists, department labor groups, our employees, attorneys and the public, and will reflect any necessary changes in legislation or case law.
If you would like to comment on the Fontana Police Department BWC Program please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (909) 854-8192.