The Sacramento Police Department is exploring the use of body cameras on all of its officers, increasing cultural sensitivity training and recruiting new officers from diverse backgrounds, says Police Chief Sam Somers, the Sacramento Bee reports. Somers said the wish list of programs he seeks to launch would come with a price tag. Body cameras for all patrol officers would cost more than $600,000 a year, and bias and use-of-force training would cost more than $300,000.
Mayor Kevin Johnson asked Somers to update the City Council on the Police Department's diversity efforts and community engagement programs. The mayor also endorsed the use of body cameras on police officers. Johnson has been an outspoken presence in the national debate over police relations after deadly police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., Staten Island, N.Y., and Cleveland. “There's still a gulf of mistrust around the country between communities and law enforcement,” the mayor said. “What we're trying to do is be proactive in Sacramento and create avenues where public trust goes up and crime goes down.” The police force has struggled to become more diverse over the past decade. Some 73.4 percent of the department was white in 2003; in 2013, 75.6 percent of city officers were white.