The use of body cameras by San Diego police has led to fewer complaints by residents and less use of force by officers, according to a city report released Wednesday.
Complaints have fallen 40.5% and use of “personal body” force by officers has been reduced by 46.5% and use of pepper spray by 30.5%, according to the report developed by the Police Department for the City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee.
By year’s end, the department plans to have nearly 1,000 officers equipped with the small cameras, including patrol officers, gang-unit officers and motorcycle officers. Currently, 600 officers have the cameras.
The department began testing the use of body cameras in January 2014, two months before city leaders called for an audit of the department’s managerial practices by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The report from that audit was released Tuesday. Among its recommendations was that the department give body cameras to its officers.