LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The goal of privately raising $1.3 million to fund on-body cameras for Los Angeles police officers has been reached thanks in part to a $100,000 donation from Walter Wang, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based JM Eagle, the world's largest plastic pipe manufacturer.
The donation that put the campaign over the top was announced by Police Commission President Steve Soboroff who launched the plan to privately raise $1.3 million for the cameras in September when he joined the commission and was elected its president.
"The goal was to have an immediate and positive impact by rallying the private sector, which would get us there quickly without too much red tape," Mr. Soboroff said. "I felt we would reach our goal if we tapped into this city's great potential for innovation and growth. JM Eagle is a perfect example of what I'm talking about."
The Los Angeles Police Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds for the LAPD, will use the $1.3 million to purchase 600 of the 1,500 units that will ultimately be needed. Included is technology to store video and audio data. The new cameras should be in service by next summer.
Mr. Soboroff said he expects that the benefits and cost-savings produced by the first 600 cameras will convince the city to fund purchase and deploy the remaining units so all officers in the field at any specific time have the equipment.
"We are pleased to be able to do our part to help keep our fellow citizens and police officers safe," Mr. Wang said. "Los Angeles is our home, the home of many of our employees and of friends and family. We headquartered JM Eagle here because it is one of the great cities of the Pacific Rim economy. It is a city of diversity, trend-setting culture and world class industries, of which JM Eagle is proud to be a part. When Police Commission President Soboroff asked us to contribute, we were pleased to be able to help equip our officers with the cutting-edge technology they need to keep us all safe."
"Everything we do to build the L.A. of the future should be based upon cutting edge technology," he continued, "and this includes on-body cameras for police officers which are essential to the safety and well-being of not only our citizens, but the city's visitors."
After meeting with police and elected officials, as well as union leaders and community members, Soboroff saw the need for on-body cameras as a valuable tool in absolving officers falsely accused of wrongdoing, augmenting police investigations and officer field training, and reducing the potential for police misconduct.
Other donations to the on-body police camera campaign include $250,000 from the Dodgers and members of team's ownership group, $250,000 from philanthropist Casey Wasserman, as well as contributions from former such individuals and organizations as Mayor Richard Riordan, DreamWorks' Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Alec Gores, Occidental Petroleum, Activision's Bobby Kotick and Westfield's Peter Lowy.
With 21 manufacturing plants in North America and more than 1,000 employees, JM Eagle manufactures the widest array of high-grade, high-performance polyvinyl chloride and high-density polyethylene pipe for municipal utilities throughout the world.
SOURCE JM Eagle