According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, both cops and perps will soon be ready for their close-ups, now that the first 300 of the Los Angeles Police Department's 1,600 cruisers are about to be installed with video cameras. If you had assumed the LAPD cars already had them, you could be forgiven, since the project has been discussed ever since the Christopher Commission recommended it following Rodney King's 1991 police beating.
The plan is for the cars to each be fitted by October 20 with two candid cameras -- one aimed at the car's front and one focused on the cruiser's back seat, where detainees sit. The Press-Telegram quotes deputy chief Charlie Beck as noting the department is racing to get the project running before the departure of current chief Bill Bratton, a champion of the cameras.
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"I know how important it is to get this thing up and running before the chief leaves," Beck told a meeting of the police commission.