Monterey County

Body cameras used during California Rodeo Salinas

Friday and Saturday were expected to be the busiest nights of the Rodeo

New tools for Rodeo officers

SALINAS, Calif. - For the first time ever, Salinas police officers will be wearing body cameras during the California Rodeo Salinas. That's because the department just recently got the cameras.

On Friday, NewsChannel 5 spoke with the security director about other measures being taken to keep everyone safe.

"More than ample security to provide for safety," Bob Eggers said, security director of the California Rodeo Salinas.

Eggers has more than enough experience with public safety. Not only did he work at the Salinas Police Department for decades, he's helped with security at the Rodeo for 20 years. He's in charge of the entire operation.

Aside from the 700 competitors, there are going to be hundreds of volunteers, security guards and law enforcement here to keep a watchful eye on the 15,000 spectators. Monitoring all these people isn't easy. In addition to new technology, some old school solutions come in handy.

"We have so many people on the ground that we have eyes everywhere," Eggers said. "In addition to that, all of our security folks carry portable radios so we can all communicate. We have mounted security on back on horses."

This year there's a new tool in the arena: body cameras.

"It doesn't make a bit of difference to me one way or another," Eggers said. "We treat everybody with courtesy, respect and dignity."

But he knows how useful the cameras could be, especially if someone disputed something they did, they would have a video and audio recording to reference. For the most part, he says they don't have too much of a problem with people horsing around.

"What I find out job primarily is is serving as ambassadors," Eggers said. "People asking us questions about where to go, where their seat is located, that kind of thing. Do we have something once in a while? Absolutely."

Eggers said they often have to deal with people who drink too much. They try to find a sober adult to take care of them, maybe even call them a cab. He said it's very rare to actually arrest someone at the Rodeo.

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