Council Votes to Spend $18K for Body Worn Camera Equipment

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(Contributed Photo)

    Diversity, inclusion, racial and identity profiling, body worn cameras for police and establishing a public safety sub-committee dominated the topics of discussion during the Orinda City Council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 15. As recommended by staff, the council voted unanimously to “execute a procurement agreement . . . for a Body Worn Camera (BWC) program.”
    Additionally, the council voted to explore anti-bias training for the council itself and committees with a possibility of making it available to the public, as recommended by vice-mayor Amy Worth.
    The $18,000 first-year cost will be budgeted from the General Fund. Police Chief David Cook will institute the department’s BWC program when the Axon Enterprises supplied cameras arrive.
    The Axon 3 camera, used by the Danville Police Department, automatically activates and records when a weapon or taser gets drawn. Cook said if officers are “engaged in an encounter, they should be recording.”
    Racial and identity profiling (RIP) will be the focus of the yet-to-be created public safety sub-committee, planned to meet quarterly with the police department. Diana Honig asked about delays in receiving RIP statistics, currently available in other parts of the state, Cook said the system, under the jurisdiction of the County Sheriff’s office, is still in testing. He doesn’t know when it will be implemented. Rebecca Verity requested the Council immediately seek the racial profiling data now.

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