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City Considers Body Cameras
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Body cameras could be coming to the Oakdale Police Department, outfitting officers with the new hardware.

Due to the Monday Presidents’ Day Holiday observance, the Oakdale City Council held its meeting after press time for The Leader on Tuesday, Feb. 16. According to the agenda that was released on Feb. 13, the council planned to discuss acceptance of a spending plan for the Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Funding (SLESF) Grant.

The City of Oakdale is eligible for $100,000 in 2014-15 from the State of California under the Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Fund. The funding is designed for front-line law enforcement services which typically include community-oriented policing projects and special law enforcement activities that require use of additional police officers in specially targeted saturation areas. The funding is also available to purchase equipment to support front-line law enforcement operations.

According to the agenda, Chief Lester Jenkins is proposing that the city and police department consider outfitting frontline patrol officers and reserves with body cameras.

Other agencies, including the Modesto Police Department, that have implemented body mounted cameras have reportedly seen a dramatic decrease in the number of citizen complaints. This is often since the facts of incidents are recorded and false complaints are chased away due to word circulating among the criminal community that the officers are recording all citizen contacts.

Police Sergeant Joseph Carrillo, who also serves as president of the Oakdale Police Officers Association, has been assigned to a recently assembled countywide law enforcement ad-hoc committee to study the purchase and use of these cameras in Stanislaus County.

Chief Jenkins said that the cameras would require substantial data storage on the city’s systems and costs would also need to be applied to upgrade the servers’ capacities. He estimated a cost of approximately $50,000 to outfit the entire regular and reserve officers.

Other items on the agenda included a review of the mid-year budget, and awarding a construction contract to Richter Fence for construction of security fences at two sewer lift stations in public park locations.

The council also still has to decide on the process of filling outgoing Councilman Don Petersen’s seat. Petersen earlier submitted a resignation, which will be effective at the end of this month.

Look for full council meeting coverage in the Feb. 25 edition of The Leader.