BWC Cost and Storage Estimator


BWC TTA (2019)

Many body-worn camera (BWC) sites struggle with program cost issues. It can be difficult to estimate and forecast the ongoing costs of maintaining BWC programs, including equipment, infrastructure, storage, redaction, personnel, and other costs. In addition, sites may be unsure whether the potential savings from BWCs (e.g., through reduced investigations of complaints against officers, reduced investigations of use of force incidents, reduced civil litigation) might come close to or exceed the costs of BWC programs, producing net savings.

The BWC Program Cost Estimator was developed primarily as a tool to guide BWC sites through these various cost issues to help them think more concretely about cost issues related to BWC programs and plan for long-term costs and benefits of a BWC program. This Cost Estimator is a spreadsheet-based algorithm (set of mathematical calculations) that allows a BWC site to enter real or estimated cost and cost-related data for a series of variables and quickly estimate the current and future costs of its BWC programs, as well as estimate whether the anticipated benefits of its BWC program will offset program costs in part or in whole. This Estimator will provide estimates for planning purposes, helping sites understand different BWC program cost drivers and potential savings.

The Estimator is not meant to produce a precise forecast of costs and savings for the purposes of official budgeting. Rather, the Estimator is intended to guide thinking about the costs and benefits of a BWC program and provides for making low, medium, and high cost and benefit assumptions to help jurisdictions gauge potential future costs and savings. 

Download the Cost Estimator here.

Read the guidebook here.