SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, April 21, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department announced that deputies working as jail guards at the San Francisco County Jail 4 will start wearing body cameras this year.
The department requested funds from the city budget for the cameras, but the request was denied. The department is expect to find its own funds to equip deputies with the cameras. The 30 camera pilot program is expected to begin in several months.
The move by San Francisco Sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi came after light was shed on a scandal that occurred last month in County Jail 4 involving deputies forcing gladiator-style fights between inmates in the jail. The FBI is currently investigating the case.
“It’s my belief that fitting our deputies with body cameras, combined with personnel training and police reforms that are also on the works, are tools that will help to foster a more durable trust with public, our inmates and their loved ones,” said Ross Mirkarimi.
San Francisco Public Defender, Jeff Adachi, who revealed the alleged forced inmate fights supports the idea of body cameras as he believes the cameras will prevent violence. “What we want to make sure is the cameras are in operation all the time when there is a potential for violence,” said Adachi.
At the moment no other jail in California uses body cameras.