In a study session on Tuesday morning, the town council discussed the implementation of in-car camera technology for the police department. The item will be placed on the council's June 21 consent agenda for public vote.
"The cameras are not just beneficial for us, but for everyone involved," said Police Chief Steve Simpkins. "It is yet another way that we can be transparent in what we're doing."
Simpkins proposed adding cameras to 13 patrol cars and two motorcycles at a cost of $120,000. The cameras would be installed in the department's six new Chevrolet Caprice cars that are scheduled to arrive some time in August.
The in-car camera project has been in development since January 2009 and an in-house trial of the L3 Mobile Vision Camera system was conducted this January. According to town documents, data from the cameras would be stored in a separate secure location and with non-sensitive information deleted after one year.
Funding for the cameras would come from a subset of vehicle licensing fees called un-appropriated supplemental law enforcement services funds, which may be cut from the state budget later this year.
Several local law enforcement agencies, including the San Ramon police department and East Bay Regional Parks District, already have in-car cameras.
"Cameras were activated during some pretty significant incidents in San Ramon and it was really helpful for everyone," Simpkins said.