Walnut Creek PD Body Cameras Forthcoming
Nov 28, 2016 09:54PM
● By Jennifer Neys
WCPD Body Cameras Forthcoming
Chief of Police Tom Chaplin and Acting Lieutenant Andy Brown presented a report at the November 1 city council meeting. Chief Chaplin reported that over the past few years there has been an increase in public demand for law enforcement accountability and transparency. Body worn cameras (BWCs) can serve as a tool to demonstrate law enforcement legitimacy, accountability, and transparency, and can enhance the community’s trust and confidence in its police department. Chief Chaplin also provided options for implementing a BWC program at the Walnut Creek Police Department.
In August 2015, WCPD in conjunction with the city’s communications division of the city manager’s office worked with police department personnel and conducted an open town hall survey on BWCs. Of the 477 Walnut Creek residents who responded to the online survey, 92% supported the idea of officers wearing BWCs. A major benefit of these cameras is that they provide unbiased documentation of police contact from start to finish, and studies have shown they have a taming effect on both officers and citizens. Council voted unanimously to direct city staff to develop a BWC program, policies and budget.