SJPD Star

Body Cameras Project

Photo of an officer wearing a body cameraThe San Jose Police Department is committed to outfitting its officers with body worn cameras (BWC). In January 2014, the Department formed the BWC Committee, consisting of community members, Department members and the police union.  The Department's BWC Policy, is available online and resulted from research as well as internal and external feedback and discussion. Ongoing feedback will help shape future revisions of the BWC Policy.

The Body Worn Camera Administrative Unit began training and deployment in July 2016.  As of September 1st, our Unit has achieved over 50% of its targeted training goal.  With current staffing, we at the BWC Administrative Unit expect to be fully deployed within six months.

As we encounter new information along the way with regard to hardware, establishing best practices and policy, we will continue to evolve and bring you the best Body Worn Camera Program possible. We also continue to monitor pending BWC legislation and expect to re-visit the BWC policy for possible revisions after six months of deployment.

The Department will continue to update this web page with any project milestones, policy changes as well as relative legislation that affects the program. To increase your awareness of body cameras, please review the BWC resources and provide feedback via our surveys.

Please refer any questions directly to your Body Worn Camera Project Team.

Your opinion matters.

Photo of an officer wearing a body camera

Additional Resources:


Body Worn Camera Release of Information:

The San Jose Police Department began Body Worn Camera deployment on July 1st, 2016.  As a result, officers will be generating video evidence in the course and scope of their duties as per the San Jose Police Body Worn Camera Policy.  The Department recognizes public interest in access to body camera footage as a measure to police oversight and accountability, and the Department holds this video evidence and the privacy of the community in the highest regard.

While the Department values both transparency and protecting privacy, these two values are often in discord with each other.  As such, the Department maintains a dialogue with leaders of community organizations, the Independent Police Auditor, the Santa Clara County District Attorney and other stakeholders to strike a balance on this issue.

City and Department Public Records Act policy treats body camera audio-visual files as records of police investigations that are generally exempt from public disclosure under the California Public Records Act (California Government Code Section 6254(f); SJPD Duty Manual Section C 2205, City Council Resolution 77135, Exhibit A, Law Enforcement Information, pages 4-10 and 4-11, passed on August 26, 2014). State law treats the police investigation record exemption as a discretionary exemption, therefore the Chief of Police may, on a case-by-case basis, make the determination to provide greater public disclosure of information or records that are otherwise exempt from disclosure due to the exemption for police investigation records, unless disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law.  Any denial of a Public Records Act request can be appealed to the City Manager's Office and the City Council Rules and Open Government Committee.  A requesting party also has the independent right under the Act to institute judicial proceedings for injunctive or declarative relief or a writ of mandate to enforce his or her right to inspect or to receive a copy of any public record (California Government Code Sections 6258 and 6259).

Members of the public should know that even though video evidence may not be released, the video evidence remains a valuable accountability tool.  Audio-visual evidence continues to be an integral part of criminal and civil discovery.  Audio-visual evidence generated by body worn cameras during the course of a police encounter that becomes the subject of a citizen complaint will be subject to administrative review by the Department and also will be subject to review by the Independent Police Auditor as part of his audit function.  When an officer-involved shooting or other officer involved incident (OII) occurs, that incident is currently subject to administrative review by the Department command staff and the OII Training Review Panel (SJPD Duty Manual Section L 2646). The OII Training Review Panel includes not only members of the Department's command staff, but also includes the Independent Police Auditor and the City Attorney's Office.   In addition, the City's chosen Body Worn Camera Solution affords a secure video evidence management system which ensures that the original video evidence cannot be altered or deleted by end users or investigators.  The evidence management system also has an audit trail that will indefinitely track any and all access to each and every video file.

 

Body Worn Camera Project Video

 

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.