REDDING, Calif. - Redding criminals are going to start paying for their crimes, and benefiting the officers trying to put them behind bars.
That is the word from Mayor Rick Bosetti. Redding police will soon be equipped with lapel cameras when out on patrol.
"This is just going to be a tool that will help them even more," Bosetti said.
The city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the purchase – about $250,000 for the technology.
"[The money] is coming from criminals. It's coming specifically from drug criminals - drug dealers and drug traffickers," Bosetti said. "When our police officers make the bust they forfeit the money they confiscate there. At this time - I believe there's well in excess of $375,000 in that asset forfeiture account."
These cameras on cops are prevalent nationwide. Bosetti said the people of Redding will soon be accepting of the concept.
"I think that they will, like anything new. They see enough of this now on TV. I mean, you see enough now of how the car cams have benefited highway patrol and trooper patrols. This is even a next step better."
Face-to-face contact with the citizens will be recorded.
Redding Police Department chief Robert Paoletti is not concerned about his staff being constantly watched. He sees the positives.
"I think it will clear a lot of the he-said she-said out of a lot of our internal affairs complaints and it'll provide that extra bit of evidence when we do have a critical incident," Paoletti said.
According to Chief Paoletti, the department takes in between 40-50 internal affairs complaints per year. He said that takes up a lot of the lieutenants' time and ties them up in the office instead of having them out on the streets supervising and leading their shifts.
"It's going to be a tool that will reduce what I call unnecessary cost to our police force. When they are accused of using wrongful tactics, that takes them off the field, it causes reports to have to be done, it causes attorneys to be hired, and it is court time," Bosetti said.
Mayor Bosetti sees the financial gain in diminishing that lost time.
"When those have been reduced in some communities by upwards of 65% to 70%, because of the cameras being in place and evidence being there to be seen, that's huge savings for us," he said.
It is not a perfect system, according to Bosetti, but it is progress.
"It's technology well-used and the criminals are paying for it," he said laughing. "To me that's a win, win, win."
The purchase and implementation of these lapel cameras is still a few months away.
Calls to the Redding Police Officers Association, regarding their feelings on their every move potentially being caught on camera, were not returned by deadline.