Body Worn Cameras Issued to Ventura County Law Enforcement Agencies, by Bill Haney, Ventura County Criminal Defense Attorney
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office recently put area criminal defense attorneys on notice that the county’s four major police agencies have equipped some or all of their officers with body worn cameras (BWC’s). The cameras were purchased from Axon, a business unit of Taser. (For more information about the company’s body worn camera program, click here.)
The four police agencies include:
- Ventura County Sheriff’s Department
- Oxnard Police Department
- Ventura Police Department
- Simi Valley Police Department
At the present time, the District Attorney’s Office discloses body worn camera evidence in criminal cases by sending them via US mail on CD’s and DVD’s. In the near future, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office will begin providing the information through an email delivery system. It is anticipated that the video evidence will be easily downloaded by defense counsel in an .mp4 format once the system is fully integrated.
Data management will clearly turn out to be an evolving problem in criminal cases for both the defense and the prosecution. Axon body cameras reportedly produce 2 gigabytes of data per officer every day! (How Police Officer Body Cameras Work, Popular Mechanics, Dec. 3, 2014) Data management issues pose an insignificant problem, however, when considering the upside of the body camera program. The cameras should boost public confidence in the overall integrity of the work performed by law enforcement officers on a daily basis.