SBCUSD Receives Grant for Officer Body Cameras

SBCUSD Receives Grant for Officer Body Cameras
Posted on 11/25/2020
A grant for body cameras will help District Police officers like Sgt. John Guttierez (pictured above, right at the 2018 National Night Out) provide more transparency as they protect SBCUSD students and families.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) a Body Worn Camera grant in the amount of $87,350. The grant funds will be used to implement a program to increase transparency and safety of SBCUSD Police Officers and build trust with members of the community.

As part of the SBCUSD pilot program, the SBCUSD Police Department plans to purchase 40 body cameras, enough for the entire patrol force and supervisors. The SBCUSD BWC project will use an incremental, phased approach. About 10 to 15 body cameras will be distributed each year until the entire force, including supervisors, are issued cameras at the end of the 36-month grant period.

“We are thankful for the DOJ Body Cam Grant,” said SBCUSD Police Chief Joseph Paulino. “It provides an additional tool which will be used to keep our community informed.”

Providing safety and security to our students is of paramount importance to the District, as is forging goodwill between school police and the community it serves. Assistant Chief of Police Stephen Donahue will manage the rollout, supervise program implementation, and be responsible for continuous improvement. Sergeant Roberto Arellano will implement the program, manage data collection, and create training protocols for District officers.

The SBCUSD pilot program is just one part of a comprehensive plan to make the District’s efforts to keep students, staff, and the community safe more transparent and holistic. In addition to the Body Worn Camera grant, SBCUSD has applied for additional funding for other safety-related programs.

The National Institute of Justice sights increased transparency of law enforcement activities as a positive benefit of body cameras. The footage can also help improve training for law enforcement officers by allowing officers to analyze real-world situations and develop more effective responses.

According to the Department of Justice, several studies, including one conducted in the UK, documented a significant decrease in citizen complaints against police officers after the implementation of body cameras. Studies also show a reduction in assaults on officers wearing body cameras.


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