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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 12:33 pm | Partly Cloudy 62º


Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Releases Report on Body Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers

Is it time for Santa Barbara County law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures for body cameras? 

Would incorporating this new visual tool enhance the evolving role of patrol officers and sheriff deputies in our changing, technological society? 

Across the nation, body cameras are becoming a valuable tool in evaluating disputed actions on the part of both law enforcement and the public. 

Recorded footage is sometimes critical in ascertaining guilt or innocence. Images the camera records can be played in courts and in the media. 

The public is now highly media conscious and often insists on seeing what has been caught on camera in the interest of fairness and transparency. 

This tool is becoming more available to law enforcement throughout California. While not failsafe, the data provided by cameras can offer protection for both the officers and the public. 

The 2016-17 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury concludes that the use of body cameras has the potential of providing greater transparency for both the public and law enforcement.

The full report can be viewed here.

The mandate of the Grand Jury is to shine a light on governmental operations within Santa Barbara County. The form and timeframe of the agencies’ responses are required by California Penal Code §933 and §933.05.  

All Grand Jury reports and responses are posted on the Jury’s website

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is a basic part of government within the judicial branch. The Grand Jury acts independently, yet is under the general control of the Superior Court Presiding Judge to assure that it acts in accordance with the Penal Code of the State of California.


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