This policy is intended to provide deputies with guidelines on when and how to use body- worn cameras (BWCs) including both audio and video recording so that deputies may reliably record their contacts with the public, arrestees and inmates in accordance with the law. BWCs provide documentary evidence for criminal investigations, internal or administrative investigations and civil litigation. Peace officers and public officers employed by the Sheriff’s Office ("deputy") shall utilize this device appropriately and in accordance with the provisions in this General Order to maximize the effectiveness of the audio/video documentation, to achieve operational objectives, and to ensure evidence integrity.
While BWC recordings can provide an objective record of events, it is understood that video/audio recordings may not necessarily reflect the entire experience or state of mind of the individual deputy in a given incident. In some circumstances, the BWC will capture information that may not have been heard and/or observed by the involved deputy(ies). Similarly, there will be situations where the BWC will not capture information that was heard and/or observed by the involved deputy(ies). BWCs have also been proven to be valuable in their ability to direct and supplement deputy training. BWCs also provide transparency for the community as well as individual and organizational accountability. BWCs can help build community trust, improve conduct and behavior, and reinforce community policing.
General Order of the Body Worn Camera System - PDF