This week California State University Bakersfield Police officers showed off their new body cameras in a Facebook post.
CSUB Police Chief Marty Williamson said his department received 13 cameras for their 15 officers. They are currently in “beta testing” stages of the cameras. Currently four officers are using the body cameras during those tests. The chief expects the rest of his officers to begin training with the camera on Monday and expects a full rollout of the body cameras by July 1st.
Chief Williamson said his department has been talking about adding body cameras for about a year. He said, “This is going to become the industry standard in policing, and studies show there’s a reduction in incidents when using them. Luckily we don’t have a lot of times when it would come into play, but we didn’t want to wait until it happens to do something about it.”
Chief Williamson said the body cameras are leased as part of a package deal with the tasers. The lease is for five years, including camera replacements every two and a half years. The tasers are replaced every five years. The police department paid $10,000 for the first year of the camera and tasers package. The following four years will be paid for by CSUB, who gives the department their budget. The chief expects the final four years of the lease to cost between $15,000 and $16,000, which will include maintenance, replacements and other factors.
The CSU system has a system-wide policy for body cams, and at least half of the campuses have implemented body cam use.