SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A budget proposal would fund body cameras for all San Francisco police officers and also accelerate the hiring of 250 new officers.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement on Thursday at the new police headquarters.
“We are about to add $6.6 million in our next two year budget to fund approximately 1,800 body cameras for each of our officers that are on our streets,” said Lee.
Lee said the budget proposal would also allow the city to 250 new police officers over the next two years, getting to the City’s charter-mandated 1,971 officers.
“All the way around, it’s going to make for better police-citizen interaction. It’s all good stuff,” said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr of the body camera proposal. “It’s a win-win situation that protects good people from both sides of the lens.”
Suhr did caution that a policy for body cameras still needs to be developed, which would include when they go on and don’t go on, redaction and retention requirements and who gets to view the video and when.
“Cameras are a small step in the right direction. It’s also critical that we provide our officers with the training that they need,” said San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen.
“We need officers out on the streets and we need them to be safe, but we also want citizens to feel safe,” added Board of Supervisors President London Breed.
If the budget for cameras is approved, it will still take some months before officers wear them, as contracts for the cameras will go out to bid and then the department will have to buy them. But officers could be wearing them by the end of the year.