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Assessment of the Potential Implementation of a Personal Video Recording Device Program in Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Custody Facilities

This is an exhaustive study regarding the use of body-worn cameras in correctional facilities. "Like much of today’s modern video technology, PVRDs [personal video recording devices aka body-worn cameras] are not a perfect solution. They have limitations such as battery life, video storage capacity and reliability. Yet, without question, PVRDs use in LASD [Los Angeles Sheriff's Department] has the potential to capture video and audio recordings of high liability and rapidly unfolding events that may occur within our custody facilities. The presence of video evidence has the potential to increase agency transparency, thereby increasing community trust and positive public perception of law enforcement. Additionally, video evidence has the potential to increase officer professionalism and accountability, mitigate citizen complaints against officers, reduce civil liability, increase efficiency in the handling of many types of cases and deter criminal activity. The LASD has produced a comprehensive PVRD report through an examination of LASD T&E [test and evaluation] results, LASD user input, review of empirical research, interviews with law enforcement agencies across the United States who are currently using or are considering the use of PVRD technology in patrol and/or custody environments, as well as numerous other metrics. The information captured and analyzed may be used to assist in the decision making process regarding establishing standards, best practices and deployments of PVRD technology and will further assist in capitalizing on the benefits of PVRD technology while minimizing potential pitfalls" (p. 6). Fourteen chapters follow an executive summary: introduction; empirical research; fixed infrastructure surveillance cameras; PVRD test and evaluation; lessons learned; outside agencies; legal considerations; policy considerations; infrastructure/video, storage considerations; video management team; cost; the human factor; and conclusion and recommendations. Body-worn camera policies from 78 law enforcement agencies are also included.