Mayor Lee Announces San Francisco Police Department & Police Officers Association Reach Agreement on Body Worn Cameras
SFPD Body Camera Program Moves Forward to Equip Every Patrol Officer
San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced an agreement with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) on the use of body worn cameras. The deployment of the devices is designed to ensure transparency and accountability in officers’ engagement with the public, help rebuild trust with the community and protect members from unfounded complaints.
“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.”
Mayor Lee’s proposed two year budget submitted today includes a $20 million comprehensive police reform package that includes $6.2 million to implement the Body Camera Program over the next two years. The program will equip every patrol officer with a body worn camera. Mayor Lee’s budget also includes resources for the District Attorney and the Public Defender to address evidence gathered by body worn cameras. The Department expects initial deployment of the devices by August 1st, pending Police Commission approval.
The SFPD, SFPOA and the City’s Department of Human Resources have reached this agreement, and it will be forwarded to the San Francisco Police Commission for approval.