San Francisco police agree to wear body cameras

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco police officers have agreed to wear body cameras.

The mayor’s office made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon. There had been some back and forth over which officers would wear them, as well as the technology.

The city will spend more than $6 million over the next two years to equip every officer with a camera.

Interim police chief Toney Chaplin said the plan is to get the cameras deployed on the street as soon as possible.

Here is the mayor’s office statement:

“We are making critical investments in funding police department reform, rebuilding community trust, and bringing a culture change in how we handle conflicts on our City streets,” said Mayor Lee. “This new agreement will help get body worn cameras to every patrol officer, to keep both residents and police officers safe and help keep San Francisco one of the safest big cities in the nation.”

“This is a game changer for the San Francisco Police Department and moves us firmly into 21st Century Policing,” said Acting SFPD Chief Toney Chaplin. “We welcome this agreement with the San Francisco Police Officers Association and we look forward to the deployment of the cameras as soon as possible.”

“Rank-and-file police officers value transparency, and we welcome body cameras as an effective tool to improve public safety and strengthen accountability,” said SFPOA President Martin Halloran. “Body cameras are not a panacea, but they provide a key record of events for use in investigations – and are a clear signal to our community that police officers hold ourselves to the highest standards.”

“It is essential that we harness Body Worn Camera technology to build trust, increase accountability and preserve critical evidence in all types of cases,” said Police Commission President Suzy Loftus. “This final policy will go before the Police Commission for approval and then we can get these cameras on SFPD officers as soon as possible.”

San Francisco Police Officers Association President Martin Halloran issued the following statement about the cameras:

Last year, under the direction of the Police Commission, I joined representatives from the Police Department, the Public Defender’s Office, the Office of Citizens Complaints, the Human Rights Commission, the Department of Human Resources, and a number of police employee groups to develop a proposed strategy for the implementation and use of body worn cameras. In spirited discussions at public meetings, we studied best practices, and considered policy implications. In the end, we came up with a solid proposal.

This past week, the Police Officers’ Association worked closely with the new chief and the Mayor’s office to agree on the final details of the proposed policy, and we have jointly submitted our agreed-upon version to the Police Commission for approval.

Rank-and-file police officers value transparency, and we welcome body cameras as an effective tool to

improve public safety and strengthen accountability. Body cameras are not a panacea, but they provide a key record of events for use in investigations – and are a clear signal to our community that police officers hold ourselves to the highest standards.

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