Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento Fire Department installs new dash cameras inside battalion chief vehicles

Red sirens flashing, a Sacramento Fire Department battalion chief’s vehicle rushed to a house fire early Monday in the 200 block of Dragonfly Circle in North Natomas.

A small mounted camera inside the car captured a driver whizzing by a row of houses toward a black plume of smoke before stopping behind several fire engines and the firefighters who readied to tackle the blaze.

The footage was some of the first shot from one of three new dash-mounted cameras installed onto Sacramento Fire Department battalion chief cars last week, said Chris Harvey, Sacramento Fire spokesman.

The cameras, made by electronics company KDLinks, will be used at the discretion of the battalion chief to capture important firefighting operations. Footage will be subject to the city’s record management policy and can be made available to the public with a California Public Records Act request, Harvey said.

“We want the public to know that we are a transparent agency and they have the ability to see what we do on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

Footage captured from the dash cameras will also be used to train new recruits and to review areas where employees can improve. The cameras cost about $160 each and were purchased through the department’s discretionary funds, Harvey said.

The department also carries helmet-mounted cameras that personnel can wear while battling a fire.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets