Oakland City Police Department Pumps Up its VIEVU Body Cameras

By: Donald J. Mihalek 

1.6 seconds is all it takes for a suspect to pull a gun and fire at a police officer. That is a blur and often the details get lost in the action. 

In Oakland, California – that police department has decided to continue with an upgraded tool that is and will remain in the hands of its officers that will help capture an incident for the protection of the officer and public. They decided to stay with a state of the art body camera system that is rapidly becoming the “go to” choice in the law enforcement community. The Oakland Police Department joins the New York City Police Department, Miami-Dade and the Phoenix Police Department and many others with the deployment of the VIEVU Body Camera System (www.vievu.com) for its officers. 

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is in the process of approving a $1.27 million contract to purchase 800 new body worn cameras from one of America’s top tech companies VIEVU. “We were very happy to see Oakland continue to maintain its prestigious position with a growing list of departments that have decided to go or upgrade with our body camera system,” said David Kingston, General Manager of VIEVU. 

Since 2010, OPD was an early advocate of VIEVU body camera technology. The department currently has 775 cameras; most of them the VIEVU LE3 model. Now the department is moving to upgrade all of its officers body worn cameras to the modern VIEVU LE5. 

Kingston continued, “Early on the Oakland Police Department believed in the benefits of their officers wearing body worn cameras and has been a great partner and decided to go with VIEVU after testing and evaluating several body camera systems.” 

Studies have reinforced that body worn cameras can help lower use of force incidents and complaints by adding credible evidence to a rapidly evolving incident. News articles have repeatedly called attention to the use of body worn camera video being used to help clear officers of accusations of wrongdoing or substantiate the facts for a use of force incident. The video is also used as evidence 

In one incident an Undercover Sergeant from California said, “We recorded a traffic stop that lead to a methamphetamine for sale arrest. The suspect initially told detectives it was not her car, purse or drugs. Once she was told the whole stop and her conversations were all video recorded and her attorney saw the supplemental report to that effect, she plead guilty and took the offered deal at the preliminary hearing thus saving court time, trial. OT, etc.” 

VIEVU has been winning the support of major police departments around the country due do its flexible technical architecture. Kingston said, “We wanted VIEVU to follow the ethos of our parent company Safariland and serve the law enforcement community. We designed the body camera system that was simple and offered multiple options for departments from lens view, storage and access to 24/7 technical assistance with a product that is “law enforcement tested.” 

David Kingston summarized, “Our commitment at VIEVU was to provide a tool that would both protect the officers and enhance overall public safety. Our camera system enables both the police and public to view an incident from the same vantage point, removing the he said/she said and working from facts. As we’ve seen from high profile incidents, when the facts are in question or left to interpretation, unintended consequences occur. Our system helps prevent that and adds “from the officer’s vantage point” reality that gives officers, departments, courts and the public a view they can trust.” 

For more information, please go to www.vievu.com