The president of the Los Angeles Police Commission said Monday he thinks Los Angeles should receive a share of the $263 million requested by President Barack Obama to help outfit police officers with body cameras.
“I believe we qualify, and I know we’re applying,” said Steve Soboroff, who last year raised $1.35 million from private donors to pay for 600 cameras to be worn by Los Angeles police officers.
The city is in the process of developing policies for using the cameras.
Obama’s funding request came in the wake of protests over a grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Missouri.
The teen’s family has also called for police officers to use body cameras.
“I am supportive of what President Obama did,” Soboroff said.
Body cameras would deter incidences like the one that occurred with the fatal police shooting of Brown, according to Soboroff. He reasoned that “incidences won’t escalate when people know they’re being filmed.”
He said the cameras shield both residents and police officers and have been known to reduce complaints against officers by as much as 80 percent in cities that use them.
LAPD officials tested two brands of body cameras over the past three months and recently chose the Taser body cameras, which are designed to be worn on the chest, over ones made by Coban.
The Police Commission is expected to consider policies for using the cameras early next year, Soboroff said.
— City News Service