City approves purchase of body-worn cameras, extends eviction moratorium |

City approves purchase of body-worn cameras, extends eviction moratorium

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council has approved the purchase of body-worn cameras for the police department. 

The department currently uses Panasonic in their vehicles so the cheapest option would’ve been to go with them for the body-worn cameras. However, their system has several shortcomings, such as storage issues.

Lt. Shannon Laney, who did the research of the cameras, recommended the purchase be from Axion. Although it does require replacing the current vehicle cameras, it has several benefits including cloud storage, automatic redaction and equipment replacement when newer technology is released. 

Lt. Shannon Laney said the technology is exactly what the city and department needs.

“The department has been working on deploying body cameras for years and we are looking forward to getting them on our officers and out on the streets,” he said.

The cameras will be automatically activated when a weapon is drawn, a taser is used or when the officer is in proximity to another officer who has turned their camera on. When the camera is turned on, it will record the time prior to the camera being set to record so it will catch the lead-up to the event.

The council said they’d like to see the camera be set to record to two minutes before the camera is set to record. 

The council also said they would also like to see an update to policies regarding the use of the cameras so that officers get in the habit of turning the cameras on themselves rather than relying on the automatic activation. 

The council approved up to $470,000 for the purchase of the equipment as well as the hiring of an IT professional. That position would be housed under the city so it would be solely used for the PD. 

“Body cameras keep our police officers and our residents and visitors safe,” said Chief David Stevenson. “This is just another level of transparency we are adding to our police officers who work every day to keep our city safe.”

In other news, the council awarded a contract worth $2.5 million to JK Architecture Engineering for architecture and engineering services for the new recreation center. The project is fully funded through the Measure P fund and still leaves almost $7.9 million left in the fund.

The development of this project goes hand-in-hand with the 56-acre project. That project is a collaboration between El Dorado County and the city. 

Councilmember Cody Bass approved the contract but said he would like to see a development of a recreation complex, or something like it, that could include sports fields and other recreational options. 

Council also approved the extension of the moratorium on residential evictions. The moratorium will last through Sept. 30. 

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