San Rafael PD on why they use VIEVU® body-worn cameras
The San Rafael Police Department has 64 sworn officers and 24 professional staff, who service the San Rafael community of 58,363 residents, with an estimated visiting day time population that rises to over 100,000 people. When body-worn cameras began to be deployed by police departments around the country, the San Rafael PD felt it was important to be on the front end of that wave and implemented their own body-worn camera program to support the desires of its citizens wanting increased transparency. “I think that there’s a positive effect on the community in that we’re making an effort to be responsive to their expectations,” said Chief Diana Bishop.
Patrol officers are the largest component of San Rafael PD, and within this division is the Traffic unit, the Swat team and the Foot-beat. It’s a diverse team with many different ways of encountering and servicing the community. Recognizing this challenge, they determined that dedicated body-worn cameras made a lot of sense and was much more practical than trying to grapple with cell phones in critical and even non-critical situations.
“We picked VIEVU based on their reputation,” said Officer Correa. “We thought that they were the best solution, and the roll-out was very smooth. We put together a training plan. VIEVU came out and did the training and they initially trained a few of us. We found it easier to just take part of the VIEVU Powerpoint, tailor it to our department and then rolled it out department wide. And we’ve been using VIEVU cameras ever since.”
One of the main reasons the San Rafael police officers like using the VIEVU body-worn cameras is they are simple to use. “There are not a lot of moving parts to this. It’s a very simple operation,” said Chief Diana Bishop. When law enforcement professionals are faced with an urgent situation requiring their undivided attention, the body-worn camera is easily activated by simply pushing down on the large switch on the front.
The second reason the VIEVU body-worn cameras are appreciated by the officers is they are extremely robust. “It’s a good durable thing,” said Officer Tirre. “I’ve dropped this thing a couple times. For me it is a good product, I do rely on it a lot.”
Learn more about Safariland VIEVU body-worn cameras at www.vievu.com.