CHP lagging behind nation, state in use of body cameras
While body and dashboard cameras are not mandatory in the California, large and small agencies have begun seeing the cameras as tools of transparency -- and a way to keep officers and the public safe.
But according to CalMatters, the California Highway Police, or CHP – one of the state's largest police forces – only has body cameras for three percent of its budgeted 76-hundred uniformed officers.
The CHP makes around two-million stops a year, encounters that mostly happen within range of dashboard cameras. The agency says that it only has 237 body cameras – all in the Oakland and Stockton areas. A spokesperson said the department is focused on upgrading its dashboard cameras.
The CHP experimented with a limited pilot program several years ago. Since then, several states have mandated police body cameras.
CalMatters also reports that more than a dozen of the largest local law enforcement agencies across the state mandate body cameras, including police departments in Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles.