Local news- Press Release
Portal Humboldt County California - HCSO deputies outfitted with cellphone based body worn cameras 20 May 2022 ( news )
Portal Humboldt County , state California ( By Press Release office)
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The Humboldt County Sheriff ' s Office is excited to announce the launch of our Deputy Sheriff Body Worn Camera Program . Every deputy sheriff working in a public setting is now equipped with a body worn camera allowing them to capture interactions with the public and properly document essential evidence . But these aren’t your typical body worn cameras , they’re smart phones and can do so much more than just record video .
“Our new body worn camera is an Android device with a specially designed application that can record video and audio , take photos , and facilitate/record phone calls , ” OHV Deputy Raleigh Willoughby said . Deputy Willoughby was part of the team tasked to test and help select the cameras . He said a lot of factors were considered during the selection period , including ease of use . “It’s pretty simple . To activate the camera , you just press the side or top button on the phone , and it gives you an audio to confirm that it is recording . Then you do the same thing to turn it off . ”
While traditional body worn cameras , like the ones currently in use inside the county’s correctional facility , require law enforcement officers to manually upload footage and charge at a central docking station , the cellphone - based technology provides more flexibility to accommodate the county’s rural makeup and sheriff’s substations .
“Because we serve a rural county and not all deputies have the same headquarters , it’s essential that our deputies are able to use these cameras and have all the video uploaded instantaneously through a cell signal , ” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said .
For deputies in parts of the county without cell signal , the videos are saved on the device and uploaded automatically when service is restored . Once uploaded , the deputy is able to review the video prior to writing their report , and then the video is sent to the District Attorney’s Office to assist with potential prosecution . All video recorded is stored in the cloud for at least 180 days .
“These cameras will be utilized by every deputy sheriff on every contact , whether it’s an investigation , a traffic stop , a domestic violence incident - they’re going to be recording everything , ” Sheriff Honsal said . “So , this will enhance our ability to capture evidence and statements , and also provide a level of transparency to the public . ”
Though the cameras will capture every incident , to protect the privacy of the individuals we serve the videos will only become available to the public in some cases as applicable by state law .
“The videos that we capture on our body worn cameras are used for official purposes only , ” Sheriff Honsal said . “There are only very few circumstances that these become a matter of public record . Otherwise , the videos will be used as evidence and sent to the District Attorney’s Office , or will be used for internal investigations and training . ”
In addition to the development and availability of the new technology making the program more feasible , Sheriff Honsal says the program also would have not been possible without Measure Z funding .
“It costs about $75 , 000 to get the program started and then there’s upwards of $40 , 000 worth of expenses annually for cloud storage and equipment to keep this program going , ” Sheriff Honsal said . “It has become the industry standard to have body worn cameras for all law enforcement contacts and I think it’s just really necessary now for law enforcement . So , we are very thankful for Measure Z to be able to afford this program . ”
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