General Crime

San Rafael Police Will Wear Cameras on Uniforms in Pilot Program

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San Rafael police are evaluating the effectiveness of equipping officers in the field with body-worn cameras. Four officers — one each from the day shift and night shift, a motorcycle officer and a foot beat officer — will wear the cameras for the next 90 days, police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.

The pilot program will be evaluated in April. The LE3 cameras, made by VIEVU, are the size of a pager and are clipped to officers’ shirts in the center of the chest, Rohrbacher said. The cameras’ use is becoming widespread among police departments in California and nationwide, she said.

“The comprehensive use of the cameras has been shown to reduce the incidents in which force is used because people are less likely to resist officers when they know they are being recorded,” San Rafael Police Chief Diana Bishop said. Bishop said the cameras’ value lies in documenting crimes, violent encounters, sobriety tests and spontaneous statements. Rohrbacher said the cameras also protect officers from baseless accusations. A bright-green circle on the front of the camera indicates that it is recording.

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