BWC TTA Updates

Congressman files bill requiring Capitol Police to wear body cameras

A congressman from Arizona who is a staunch supporter of body-worn cameras for police filed a bill Tuesday which would mandate that the U.S. Capitol Police wear such cameras, saying that it would have helped with the investigation into the riot at the Capitol last week. Very few federal police wear body cameras, even as they have spread through state and local police departments across the country. Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) introduced the bill to “require uniformed officers of the United States Capitol Police to utilize body-worn cameras while on duty.”

During this webinar, we discussed challenges and lessons learned from implementing BWCs in a small agency, focusing on agency personnel responsible for implementing the BWC technology. BWC TTA Senior Advisor, Tom Woodmansee, facilitated a conversation with three BWC TTA leads—Assistant Chief Orlando Cuevas (ret.), Director Geoff Smith (ret.), and Shellie Solomon—discussing technology-related implementation topics and challenges such as testing and evaluation, legacy technology considerations, and vendor selection. The panelists also discussed ways they have seen agencies overcome these challenges.

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The Miami-Dade, Florida, Police Department (MDPD) is the largest municipal police department in the Southeastern United States, with over 2,800 sworn officers and 1,500 civilian workers spread throughout eight district police stations. The MDPD serves a population of over 2.7 million residents and covers more than 2,1391 square miles across 34 municipalities and unincorporated areas. The MDPD received an award through the Bureau of Justice Assistance Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program (BWCPIP) in 2015, which provided $1.2 million to purchase and implement approximately 1,000 BWCs. The MDPD trained 962 officers and provided them with BWCs during a four-month period in 2016. By June 2018, the MDPD had issued BWCs to 1,869 officers throughout the County, including 991 officers in the seven police districts that do not include the airport.

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On this episode of LE Tech Talks, Captain Dan Zehnder (ret.), a BWC TTA Lead, sat down with Chief Ruben Chavez from Gustine, CA, Police Department, to discuss lessons learned from the BWC program.

Captain Zehnder and Chief Chavez discussed useful tips for implementing a BWC program in a small agency regarding partnering with other agencies, handling storage, how to staff the program, overcoming obstacles in grant management, and more.

Click here to listen to the podcast.