LA County Sheriff's Department starts deploying body-worn cameras tonight


Beginning today, body-worn cameras are scheduled to be provided to LA County Sheriff deputies in five stations: Lancaster, Century, Lakewood, Industry and West Hollywood.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva says deputies at five stations are currently being trained and equipped with body cameras: Century, Industry, Lakewood, Lancaster and West Hollywood.

Then come Compton and East LA. The plan is to deploy more than 5,200 body cameras over the next year and a half.

LA County supervisors last month transferred $25.5 million dollars to the department to pay for the first year of the program.

Inspector General Max Huntsman has raised concerns about the department's body camera policy giving deputies "too much discretion in deciding" when to turn the devices on or off and a lack of accountability for failing to activate it.

Routine audits to help identify potential misconduct are prohibited.

Deputies are encouraged to review video before writing reports.

In August, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva called it a big step forward for transparency for his department - an agreement's been reached for body-worn cameras to be deployed for deputies.