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LA Sheriff's Department Will Start Deploying Body Cams By October

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An LAPD officer's body camera. (David McNew/Getty Images)
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At long last, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is going to start deploying body cameras on some of its deputies.

The department plans to start deploying cameras by October, County Inspector General Max Huntsman said in a report to the Board of Supervisors today. He said the county is in the final stages of selecting a vendor.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said he’ll first give cameras to deputies at five stations: Lancaster, South L.A., Lakewood, Industry and West Hollywood.

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Eventually he wants to outfit about 5,000 of his more than 9,000 deputies.

The LAPD has had body cameras for nearly five years.

Earlier this year the sheriff released a draft policy that said deputies would have to turn on body cameras in any interaction with the public, from traffic stops to the use of force.

State law now largely requires the release of body camera footage of officer shootings or other major uses of force.

Hunstman said he and the county public defender are concerned that Villanueva's proposed policy has "no real accountability for a deputy failing to activate the body-worn camera," and that he intends to let deputies review body cam footage before writing a report about a shooting or other use of force.

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In the end, though, the inspector general called the deployment of body cams "an immediate necessity."

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