Ojai Valley News photo by Andra Belknap
Deputy Matthew Keeter wears a body camera while patrolling through Libbey Park Aug. 5.
Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
Ventura County Sheriff's Office (VCSO) deputies are now required to wear body cameras while on patrol, according to Capt. Garo Kuredjian of VCSO.
The requirement was instated Aug. 1.
Deputy Kevin Kipp, who was patrolling Libbey Park Aug. 5, doesn't mind wearing the camera, he said, noting that everyone carries a camera these days.
“It provides another way to be transparent with the community,” he said.
VCSO began training deputies to use the cameras, manufactured by TASER International, in July.
According to Kipp, deputies are trained to turn their cameras on whenever they are in a situation with the potential for an enforcement action, such as a traffic stop.
“We don't activate it every time we interact with the community,” he said.
Additionally, VCSO has issued body cameras to all personnel working in patrol-related assignments, including traffic enforcement and school resource officers, confirmed Kuredjian.
“With the deployment of body-worn camera technology in the communities we serve, the Sheriff’s Office looks forward to maintaining an atmosphere of transparency and trust,” said Capt. Cory Rubright. “While the cameras provide an enhanced means of evidence collection, they also provide increased accountability on both sides of the badge.”
VCSO began researching body-worn camera and storage systems in June 2014.