In the wake of an officer-involved shooting that left one City College student dead, Supervisor John Avalos is calling for a new hearing to explore the idea of attaching cameras to San Francisco police officers.
“These incidences happen from time to time and it shows that there’s a great deal of work that we need to do to have an effective policing program,” Avalos said, while quoting stats from Cambridge University's Institute for Criminology that show use-of-force incidents dropped by 60% in the city of Rialto, California when the local police department started hooking up cops with camera. BART Police officers have been testing officer-mounted cameras ever since the fatal, officer-involved shootings of Charles Hill and Oscar Grant III before that. The cameras were not recording when BART police officer Tommy Smith was shot in the line of duty earlier this year.
In December of last year, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr began rolling out a pilot program that equipped 50 plainclothes officers with cameras. Avalos' plan would explore the costs associated with expanding that program to all officers, as well as any logistical issues.