East Valley Deputies Now Using Personal Video Cameras

LA QUINTA - Some sheriff's deputies in the Coachella Valley are now wired for pictures and sound. They're using technology to help them protect and serve.

More than two dozen deputies in Indio, La Quinta, Coachella and other cities in the east valley currently use what's called the V-View personal camera.

The cameras can record up to four hours of video.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department got the grant to pay for the $900 devices back in 2008.

Deputies wear the small black box on their chest and as soon as they flip it on, the device is recording.

"A lot of the times officers perceive a threat which might be brought into question later when your able to go and look at the video you can see what that office was seeing at that point in time," said Cpl. Don Olson, with the La Quinta Police Department.

Until recently police and sheriff's deputies could only record traffic stops using the dash cams on their cars. Now, east valley depuites have the option of taking the portable cameras wherever they go, on traffic stops or in other dangerous situations, like stand-off's or officer involved shootings.

Some people may worry they're being recorded without their permission.

According to Olson, as long as deputies on public property they don't need it.

"Any other means, if it was some sort of civil investigation we would let the person know that they're being investigated and that they're being recorded," said Olson.

According to Olson, since the department picked up the cameras nearly three years ago, other law enforcement agencies have started using personal recorders.

He also said deputies in Palm Desert will also get the cameras soon.

"Should a court case ever go to trial and that officer would need the statement from that person or use the video to refresh his memory of the incident. So, for the most part, you wouldn't even been aware you're being recorded," said Olson.

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