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Supervisors approve lapel cameras for officers

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday sought to map out their response to the Andy Lopez shooting with a robust plan of action, endorsing work on a memorial park in the Santa Rosa boy's neighborhood and more than a dozen other proposals aimed at repairing trust in local government and law enforcement.

In addition to the park, the Board of Supervisors also supported formation of a community task force to study models for independent citizen oversight of law enforcement and launched internal reviews of county police training and operations, including policies for use of lethal force.

Those efforts are set to come back with findings and recommendations within the first half of next year.

Supervisors also unanimously supported spending an estimated $250,000 to add lapel cameras to the uniforms of the county's roughly 250 patrol deputies. The move, which is supported by Sheriff Steve Freitas, was seen as an immediate measure to help smooth community relations with the Sheriff's Office after a veteran deputy shot and killed Lopez, 13, when he mistook his airsoft BB gun for an assault rifle. Other fixes are envisioned over a longer term.

The wide range of measures comes a month after the board's first discussion of the Oct. 22 shooting. Where that gathering was proposed for listening, Tuesday's was for outlining action.


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