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LAPD set to install video cameras in patrol cars

After many missteps and technical glitches, the Los Angeles Police Department will soon launch a long-awaited plan to install video cameras in patrol cars, a department official said Tuesday.

Officers in the LAPD's Southeast Division are scheduled to use the windshield-mounted cameras for the first time Sunday, Chief Technology Officer Maggie Goodrich said in a presentation to the Los Angeles Police Commission.

Goodrich said the cameras performed well during recent tests by a small group of officers. If the planned roll-out in the Southeast Division goes smoothly, it would be extended to the nearby 77th Street Division late next month and eventually to the remaining divisions in the department's South Bureau, she said.

City lawmakers to date have earmarked about $5 million for the project -- sufficient funds to outfit only one of the department's four bureaus. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several city council members have voiced strong support for the cameras, but it remains to be seen whether the city, which is struggling to resolve a mammoth budget shortfall, will allot enough money in coming years to keep the camera project alive.

Calls for putting cameras in patrol cars date back nearly two decades. Over the years, several pilot programs fizzled amid budget constraints and uneven political support. In recent years the idea gained new momentum as department officials and commission members looked to deal with long-standing claims that officers unfairly and disproportionately target minorities during traffic and pedestrian stops.

The cameras, which will capture video and audio of such encounters, are viewed as a vital tool for fulfilling a court order to guard against such racial profiling, as well as for protecting cops against bogus claims of abuse made by people during stops.

-- Joel Rubin at LAPD headquarters

Comments () | Archives (25)

Great. To protect against the "knuckleheads" we deal with and that bonehead Law Firm on Beverly Blvd on frivolous laws suits.

Class 9-99

yes WE the people want cameras... SO far they have only been able to shed the light on police abuse and violations of law...

What is the cost per car? At the high estimate of $1000/Patrol Car, that seems like a lot.

I am glad the boys in blue now carry a camera of their own, I am tired of only one side of any story only being told.


At a high cost of $1000 per patrol car, that is a lot of cars. I did the math on the recent extension of the 405 freeway: $100,000 per foot. California is hopeless.

I'm not a professor or anything but couldn't the police sergeants or higher ups mysteriously make incriminating tapes disappear???? If the city could be looking at million dollar lawsuits, whose to say that said tapes could be used against them??? I'm sure they would surface if they would protect cops but it the shoes on the other foot would the tapes still surface????

they should install them in the Mayors office to see how stupid he is

So will the cameras be on the whole time the officers are on duty? If not, there is no point as they can harass people all day long, as long as the cameras aren't recording.

Video cameras aid in the solving in crimes and prevent abuse.
As import, it helps prevent false claims of abuse. At a $1000 per, it would
be cheap. One lawsuit alone would pay for EVERY car and then some.

its not the traffic stops that citizens are rightly concerned about...George Orwell anyone?

A thousand dollars a car? For that much, it better be in HD 1080p with 7.1 Dolby surround sound. Seriously, I've seen 3CCD HD camcorder go for less.

(cont of prev post) if anyone believes this is all about racial profiling and citizen complaints of abuse then you probably voted against using cell phones while driving...all about safety, huh? then why can we still eat, drink, smoke, gps, and
(the worst) apply make-up while driving - like they aren't dangerous? it's about the revenue. isn't it always?

"...as well as for protecting cops against bogus claims of abuse made by people during stops."


Can't wait to send in some of my tax money to cover lawsuit pay outs for police abuse and other civil rights violations that are finally captured on camera.

That is, if the video somehow doesn't disappear.

I would think a Camera shows both sides? What camera lacks is context.

Welcome to the 90's LAPD. Way to stay on the cutting edge.

However, San Bernardino County, the largest in the state, quietly does not permit video recordings.

$1000 per car is a lot of money to document police conduct? Uh huh of course, when the LAPD hires out of the county to provide catering services to their Michael Jackson deal at how much per person?

It is about time. We need current home videos
for TV. COPS in LA.

Excellent. Contrary to cop-haters' belief, most officers want the cameras, since the people who complain are losers who are doing it to exact revenge for getting caught committing crimes. Ask any internal affairs investigator.

Its about time...
its our public funds...
employee misconduct will be
found and you will go to jail...
gotta love it when the law applies
to misconduct.

How is it that the MTA can afford to place over seven video cameras on each bus they operate yet the LAPD can't afford to outfit but a handful of their patrol cars with ONE camera? Patrol car cameras will protect police officers and the public while maintaining a sense of trust in the community.

If the MTA can find the funds for thousands of video cameras the LAPD should be able to do the same.

The Rodney King beating was 19 years ago. Why has it taken this long to finish this project? Video cameras in patrol cars protect both the honest police officers and private citizens like me who don't trust the police. I'd feel more comfortable knowing whatever interaction I had with law enforcement was being videotaped. It was a video that proved the applesauce lady in the Burbank airport DIDN'T shove a TSA agent - the agent and her partner lied under oath and swore the passenger assaulted one of them.


You are misinformed...you only see video when the cops mess up. Across the country, hundreds if not thousands, of criminals face the evidence captured on video and it only bosters the case against them. Usually it involves resisting or assault against the police officers.

These cameras are great, and trust me, LAPD officers have wanted them for a long time.

I dont understand, who wants to watch the front of a Chipotle restaurant for hours on end?

Those cameras have only been installed in those cars for two years. It will be a miracle if all of them actually work. Hoping more good than bad. Hope all the cops will use them.


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