EUREKA, Calif. — The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office recently announced the Deputy Sheriff Body Worn Camera Program. Every deputy sheriff out working to serve the public will be equipped with a smartphone-based body cam.
Unlike most body cams, such as the ones used in the county's jail, these are in actuality smartphones with various methods of capturing evidence for investigation. Powered by Android software, the smartphone camera application will allow deputies to record video and audio, take photos, make phone calls and record calls.
“These cameras will be utilized by every deputy sheriff on every contact, whether it’s an investigation, a traffic stop, a domestic violence incident- they’re going to be recording everything,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said in a statement.
The HCSO says the device will help deputies in rural areas who may not have access to proper cell service in the field.
The videos will save onto the device and upload to a server automatically once it detects proper cell service. Once uploaded, videos will be able to be reviewed before deputies write their reports. After, the videos will be sent to the District Attorney's office to aid in any potential prosecutions.
Honsal said the videos from the new cameras will largely remain out of the public eye, with some exceptions.
“The videos that we capture on our body worn cameras are used for official purposes only,” Sheriff Honsal said. "There are only very few circumstances that these become a matter of public record. Otherwise, the videos will be used as evidence and sent to the District Attorney’s Office, or will be used for internal investigations and training.”
Body worn cameras have become a standard for law enforcement agencies in recent years. The program was funded in part due to Measure Z.