Four Alhambra police officers are now wearing body cameras.
The officers will have their camera on while in the field and will record all of their encounters including interviews and arrests. The Alhambra Police Department will try several brands of body cameras over the next couple of months before deciding which one to purchase. Sergeant Jerry Johnson said ease of use, officer safety, and quality of the recording are just some of the things they will consider when making their decision.
“Some of the cameras have a wire that connects to a battery pack. Now you got a wire and some officers don’t like that. Someone could walk up, pull the wire, and knock the officer off balance,” said Johnson.
While trying out this current brand, officers imitated a foot pursuit to test how the cameras perform. Johnson said the picture bounced around too much to see what was going on but that the the audio recording was “superb.” He also noted that the high definition video looks good, but it makes bigger files and creates a greater cost on storage and time to transfer the files.
Video recorded with the body cameras may be used as evidence, for training purposes, and to create policy. APD will follow the California Public Records Act and recordings will not be available to the public as they are part of investigations.
The department began their first trial with the cameras on April 30.