While the Eureka Police Department weighs the issue, the small city of Rio Dell is going to just charge ahead and become the first community in Humboldt to have a body camera-fitted police force.
City of Rio Dell press release:
Rio Dell Police Chief Graham Hill received authorization at last night’s City Council meeting to proceed with purchasing and equipping city police vehicles and officers with camera systems. The City Council voted unanimously to spend $15,397.46 on the cameras, support equipment and also a new restraining device for the department. The purchases were made possible through State funding set aside in the Governor’s budget to help cities across California adjust to the AB 109 prison realignment legislation that became law in 2011.
“I believe the safety of our officers and the general public will increase as a result of using the cameras.” Chief Hill stated. “These systems are not infallible, but in most cases they will provide additional clarity.”
Rio Dell Mayor Frank Wilson stated that the council concurred with Chief Hill’s assessment. “I know that the Chief has been looking into using these cameras before it became a national issue, and I want to thank him for this proactive effort.” Wilson concluded by stating. “Rio Dell is one of the last small towns to still operate its own police force, and because of this we’re a safe town to live in. These cameras are a good addition to keeping the town safe.”
The department expects to be utilizing the new equipment within the next couple of weeks.