This week the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Upturn released a scorecard that evaluates the civil rights safeguards of police body-worn camera (BWC) programs in 50 U.S. cities. The Leadership Conference scorecard rates BWC policy on 8 criteria that are directly related to citizen rights and citizen privacy. We read their report with interest, as several of the agencies in their report have received funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA) BWC Policy and Implementation (PIP) program.
The introduction of law enforcement body cameras raises a number of questions for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. At the core of these questions is the issue of how best to increase accountability and oversight of police officers’ conduct while not increasing and enhancing the explosion of surveillance and information gathering already being conducted by government. This memorandum was developed by the ACLU of Illinois outlining the privacy safeguards they believe necessary to keep the focus on accountability and oversight of police, and preventing the use of body cams from becoming another broad surveillance tool.
In an effort to address these questions and produce policy guidance to law enforcement agencies, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), conducted research in 2013 on the use of body-worn cameras. Drawing upon feedback from the conference, the survey results, and information gathered from the interviews and policy reviews, PERF created this publication to provide law enforcement agencies with guidance on the use of body-worn cameras.
On July 26, 2016 at 1:00pm eastern, the Body Worn Camera Training and Technical Assistance program presented a webinar titled "Body Worn Cameras and Use of Force Policy." We are learning that the implementation of body worn camera (BWC) technology involves more than the introduction of new technology into law enforcement. Full implementation of BWCs in a police agency affects key areas of operations and administration, as well as internal and external stakeholders, in significant ways.
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are rapidly being deployed in police departments around the country. These deployments come with a host of expectations, as well as challenges. Departments shouldn’t overlook, or underestimate, the simple premise that the day the first BWCs are deployed they begin to document department operations, policy, practices, and training in a detailed manner not previously possible. This documentation places a responsibility on the department to identify, correct and evaluate shortcomings in their BWC initiatives. Nowhere is this more important than in all aspects of use of force. BWCs can be a vital tool in monitoring use of force. Departments should consider implementing a risk management feedback loop to accomplish this task.
As part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Pilot Implementation Program (PIP), a Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) team—composed of members of CNA, Arizona State University, and Justice and Security Strategies, Inc.—has created a BWC Policy Review Scorecard (“the Scorecard”). The Scorecard assesses the comprehensiveness of an agency’s BWC policy, captures local issues that influence policy (e.g., specific state regulations), and identifies areas for policy enhancement.
As part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy Implementation Program (PIP), the CNA Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) team has created the BWC Policy Certification Form and BWC Policy Review Scorecard (“the Scorecard”). The Certification Form and Scorecard assesses the comprehensiveness of an agency’s BWC policy, captures local issues that influence policy (e.g., specific state regulations), and identifies areas for policy enhancement.