- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Sheriff’s deputies at a San Francisco jail will soon be wearing body cameras, a change that comes after inmates accused guards of forcing them fight for entertainment and gambling purposes.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (https://bit.ly/1yOQhBb ) the jail will begin a 30-camera pilot program in several months, the first of its kind in the state.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said the cameras should promote transparency and help foster trust between the public, the inmates and his office.

“It’s my belief that fitting our deputies with body cameras, combined with personnel training and police reforms that are also in the works, are tools that will help to foster a more durable trust with the public, our inmates and their loved ones,” Mirkarimi said in a statement Tuesday.

The city declined to pay for the cameras, so Mirkarimi said the sheriff’s department will pay for the technology out of its own budget.

The fighting allegations are under investigation by the FBI.

Harry Stern, an attorney for the deputies’ union, last month called the prisoner’s claims “exaggerated” and the fighting “little more than horseplay.”

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, https://www.sfgate.com

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