LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A plan to outfit police officers with body cameras is one step closer to becoming a reality now that the LA Police Commission has reached their fundraising goal.
Steve Soboroff, head of the commission and a former mayoral candidate, announced the fundraising effort in September and collected the money needed in half the time he anticipated.
By Friday, the commission reached $1.3 million thanks to a $100,000 gift by Walter Wang, president and chief of JM Eagle. Other donations have come from the Dodgers baseball team, philanthropist Casey Wasserman, former Mayor Richard Riordan, entertainment executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, film director Steven Spielberg and AEG owner Phil Anschutz.
The funds will go towards purchasing 600 body cameras, as well as storage and security of recorded material.
Soboroff said police will test several camera models over the next few months and he hopes the program will be in effect by summer.
During testing, public comments will be accepted in formulating a "set of rules for the use of the cameras that is respectful for people on both sides of the cameras," Soboroff said,
He says police underwent the same process when the department first rolled out patrol car cameras.
Soboroff says he hopes the pilot program will persuade police officials to equip each of the roughly 1,800 officers deployed at any given time with a camera.
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