News

Danville to consider implementing police body cameras

Police department update report, farmers market permit also on council agenda

The Danville Town Council is set to discuss approving for the first time purchasing body cameras for town police officers Tuesday night.

The new cameras would enhance crime prevention and officer safety while also promoting officer accountability and increased department transparency, police chief Steve Simpkins said in his staff report to the council.

"Body worn cameras are being used by a growing number of police agencies to close the significant gaps in coverage of interactions between officers and members of the public," Simpkins said. "(They) have significant value from an investigative standpoint and also encourage civilized behavior from subjects who realize they are being recorded."

The police chief said he recommends buying 35 body cameras that have pre-recording capability and are easy to use, easy to download and provide appropriate video and audio quality for use in court.

The camera equipment would cost $58,052 to purchase and require annual operating costs of $45,115 to support ongoing use, Simpkins said. The devices, manufactured by TASER International, will have a 12-hour battery life, and the purchase agreement would include secure off-site video data storage and equipment replacement, he added.

The department's use of body cameras will be governed by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office policy on mobile audio, video and body-worn cameras, Simpkins said. The town contracts with the sheriff's office for police services.

Danville police already use cameras on patrol cars and Tasers, according to the police chief.

The body-camera proposal heads to the Town Council for approval during its meeting Tuesday night, set to start at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.

In other business

* Simpkins will give an update report on recent programs, trends and activities for his department as well as introduce the council to new police personnel.

* The council will consider extending the permit for the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association to operate the Saturday farmers market in the Railroad Avenue municipal parking lot.

* Council members will announce recruitment for openings on the Heritage Resource Commission, youth positions on the Parks and Leisure Services and Arts commissions and a Danville representative on the Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 15, 2016 at 6:17 am

As much as I do not like cameras in this mordern world and feel it is a violation of our rights, it is none the less a reality. I 100% support cameras on officers as I believe it would help hold them accountable and begin to allow us to see more of how our system works / fails. I do not believe they have an easy job, but I do believe they are first to take advantage of there position when it suits them or there department.


2 people like this
Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Mar 15, 2016 at 7:20 am

I support the body cameras, as long as they do not distract the police and make their incredibly dangerous job even more dangerous. I do believe the police do the right thing, under stressful demands, almost all the time, and a camera would serve to help them beat the ambulance chasing lawyers and show the police conduct was warranted and that the criminals-plaintiffs have no credibility.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Bond. Bond Touch.
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,149 views

The mayor has ambitious goals for life sciences in the valley
By Tim Hunt | 4 comments | 844 views