Implementing, expanding, or updating a body-worn camera (BWC) program comes with important considerations and a number of challenges. One particular challenge is that BWCs increase workloads and, thus, staffing needs. When it comes to BWC programs, agencies frequently ask, “Are additional personnel going to be required, and, if so, how do I determine the level of increase and justify the associated expense?”
Procurement and Budgeting
Resources about Budgeting and Procurement Issues
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) launched the Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) in FY 2015 to assist law enforcement agencies in enhancing or implementing BWC programs. PIP’s primary goals are to improve public safety, reduce crime, and improve trust between police and the citizens they serve.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has more than 1,200 local law enforcement agencies, which vary greatly in size and access to available resources. In 2018, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) applied for and received a fiscal year (FY) 2018 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) grant on behalf of 50 law enforcement agencies throughout the commonwealth.
Park City, Utah, is known for its beautiful alpine scenery, its magnificent skiing, and as host of the Sundance Film Festival, but it was also one of the first US jurisdictions to implement body worn cameras (BWCs). In 2013, the Park City Police Department (PCPD) decided BWCs might help its officers better serve their 8,000 full-time residents and the 100,000 tourists that descend on the city during peak season. They were right—after BWCs were deployed, uses of force dropped by 42 percent and complaints declined drastically. According to the city prosecutor, the courts also benefited.
Video technology has been an important public safety tool for decades. From the earliest closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems in correctional facilities to in-dash cameras in police vehicles, video technology has been used to deter criminal behavior, document encounters or behaviors of interest, and to investigate and solve crimes. The current iteration of video technology in public safety is body-worn cameras (BWC). The use of BWCs dates back to 2005 when small-scale tests were conducted in police departments in the United Kingdom (Goodall, 2007).
Applying for BJA's FY20 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program for Law Enforcement Grant: What You Need to Know Webinar
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation (BWC PIP) 2020 Competitive Grant has been announced! BJA representatives David Lewis and Gerardo Velasquez presented during the webinar, reviewed the 2020 solicitation guidelines and provided a detailed explanation of the application requirements.
Recent news reports have discussed the costs and benefits of body-worn cameras (BWCs).