Lindsay’s Public Safety Department receives 40 donated cameras from Arroyo Grande PD, updates police fleet with $400,000 grant
LINDSAY – Lindsay police officers will soon be on their own candid camera after receiving a donation of 40 body cameras from a fellow police department.
At Lindsay’s Sept. 27 city council meeting, director of public safety Rick Carillo announced Lindsay police officers will now wear body cameras. Forty body cameras were donated to Lindsay’s public safety department from Arroyo Grande PD. The cameras will allow command staff to look over police activity and serve as evidence in case of a crisis or homicide.
“The consensus is our staff is very pleased to have [the body cameras] up and running,” Carillo said. “We’re really happy to have them as a resource for us.”
Lindsay officers will go through a trial period for a week with the new body cameras to get used to switching them on during traffic stops. The safety department will deploy a policy regarding how long video footage will be stored and other rules for the cameras usage in a week.
“Our staff knows they’re being recorded so it’s less likely they’re gonna say something they otherwise wouldn’t. Historically, [cameras] bring down system complaints,” Carillo said.
Every officer will be equipped with two cameras in case one runs out of battery. The type of crime committed in the video will determine how long it will be stored. Homicide case videos will be stored indefinitely, but felony cases and other disputes will be stored in compliance with the California Public Records Act, according to Carillo. The public records act usually allows local departments to keep records for two years, but they may be discarded sooner depending on the case, which will be determined soon by Lindsay’s department.
“It’s going to take some practice,” Carillo said. “It’s muscle memory to turn that thing on whenever they get out of the car or make contact, but that’s what the trial period is for, to make sure everybody is comfortable with them. I’m confident they’re gonna prove to be very beneficial to us in the long run.”
The video footage will be reviewed if there is a complaint and will also be available for officers to look over while writing reports. Command staff can look over the video footage at any time in order to review or “audit” an officer’s work.
But Christmas isn’t over yet for Lindsay Public Safety. Officers are expected to get several new vehicles thanks to a $400,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and $350,000 of the city’s own money, according to city manager Joe Tanner. The USDA funding came from the 2021 Budget Act from the state legislature, which provided the majority of funding needed to follow through with the purchase.
Lindsay planned to purchase new public safety vehicles in their capital improvement project because their fleet was outdated. The last fleet of police SUV’s were purchased in 2005. Lindsay will be purchasing five police cars and one fire truck, not to mention other public works vehicles such as a skip loader.
The department wanted to purchase new cars for years, according to Carillo. The state-funded grant made that attainable, especially since the original amount they were supposed to receive was only a fraction of what they actually received, only standing at $50,000. Tanner said the administer of the grant was a Lindsay local whose mother lived “right around the corner,” and wound up awarding the city with much more than they expected.
“He was able to talk to his bosses and leverage much more than the $50,000 that everyone else got, so we are happy about that,” Tanner said.