The Santa Barbara Police Department, in response to a Grand Jury report criticizing the department for not equipping its fleet of 35 cars with digital dashboard cameras, has contacted seven dash-cam vendors and has tested the systems provided by two. Assistant chief Frank Mannix said the cameras could prove potentially invaluable to the department, but cited the high price — $250,000 — as a key impediment to action. Mannix said the department equipped its cars with video cameras in the pre-digital past, but gave it up because the cameras proved expensive and hard to maintain, and the visual data difficult to manage and store.


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