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Santa Barbara Police Department Issues Body Worn Cameras to Officers

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In July of 2021, the Santa Barbara Police Department began testing body worn cameras for sworn personnel. In December 2021, SBPD started outfitting its patrol officers with these cameras. Over the course of nearly two months, all field operation patrol officers and a majority of other divisional sworn personnel have been issued and are wearing the cameras in the field.

Body worn cameras are attached to the exterior of the Officer’s uniform in a conspicuous place. Santa Barbara Police Officers are required to activate their individual body camera during all enforcement and investigative contacts, including stops and field interview situations. For a full review of the SBPD Portable and Mobile Audio/Video Recorder policy, go to Santa Barbara - Department Policies (

Although not a panacea for all problems police face, body worn cameras have been shown to provide positive outcomes to both officers and community members.  Research suggests officers are able to capture valuable evidence, and generally both officers and community members are in favor of body worn cameras. In some circumstances, body worn cameras have been shown to reduce complaints against police officers, reduce police use of force, and increase perceptions of procedural justice. All of this will bolster the relationship between the diverse communities of Santa Barbara and the police officers who serve them.

Requests for the release of any audio/video recordings shall be processed in accordance with the California Public Records Act and policy of the Santa Barbara Police Department.