Hawthorne’s Mayor and Police Chief Call for Body Cameras on Police Officers
In response to recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and in Los Angeles, Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown, Police Chief Bob Fager, and other city officials are calling for a vote to put cameras on the uniforms of every police officer in the city. In an interview, Mayor Brown told the public that he understood the cameras may be a controversial step for the city, but it would put a greater focus on accountability for officers and residents.
Brown also stated that the cameras would not only protect citizens of Hawthorne, but also the police officers. Under the proposal, which will go in front of the council at its next meeting, the cameras will be activated when law enforcement actions are initiated. For example, during a traffic stop or when the officer responds to a crime scene, the camera will turn on. Brown assured that the cameras would not be on during breaks or during the officer’s personal time.
The city has been testing three body cameras on various police officers since 2011. Brown stated that he plans on looking to Google for help in making the cameras more efficient and state-of-the-art.
Also, in Los Angeles, the city is planning on enacting a very similar ordinance, and the police department has already begun a 90-day testing phase for body cameras in March. City officials in Los Angeles are expected to make a final decision on implementing body cameras by the end of the summer.
Read more about their call for cameras here.