Resources about Technology

BWC 201: Growing and Sustaining Your BWC Program

On June 18, 2019 the Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Team presented a webinar titled “BWC 201: Growing and Sustaining Your BWC Program”. This webinar focused on sustaining and growing BWC programs after the first year of implementation and after receiving approval of the BWC policy development process. During this webinar, panelists discussed succession planning and annual considerations for ensuring a successful BWC program and the inclusion of stakeholders throughout the BWC program.

Police Body-Worn Cameras

Since the summer of 2014, community members, politicians, and police executives across the country have called for greater police accountability and improvements in police-community relations. Body-worn cameras (“BWCs”) are widely seen as serving both ends. Today, thousands of police agencies are exploring, adopting, and implementing body-cam programs. BWCs are here, and more are coming.

BWCs and Collegiate Police Departments

Executive Summary: Since 2014, many police agencies have adopted body-worn camera (BWC) programs, in many cases with little to no evidence-base to guide implementation and policy development. The research has expanded significantly since then, with well over 70 articles now published on the topic of BWCs (Lum, Stoltz, Koper, & Scherer, 2019). These studies have identified several benefits of the technology, including increased transparency and legitimacy, expedited resolution of complaints, and evidentiary value for arrest and prosecution.

In View Commentary: Embracing Communication with the Public and Media: A Key Component of a Successful Body-Worn Camera Program

Officer-involved critical incidents often lead to turmoil and chaos for a community. They can leave officers feeling frustrated and even resentful of the perceived lack of support and leave citizens feeling angry and suspicious of their police department. While there is no easy fix for this type of divide, there are steps an agency can take to heal after such an ordeal or to prevent the conflict altogether. The foundation is holding good communication as a core value of your organization. Of course, good communication involves listening as well as messaging.

BWCs and Law Enforcement Agencies

Author (s) Abstract: In 2016, nearly half (47%) of the 15,328 general-purpose law enforcement agencies in the United States had acquired body-worn cameras (BWCs) (figure 1). By comparison, 69% had dashboard cameras and 38% had personal audio recorders. Findings are based on the 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics - Body-Worn Camera Supplement (LEMAS-BWCS) from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The LEMAS-BWCS was administered for the first time in 2016.

FY 2018 Body-Worn Camera PIP Site Welcome Webinar

This webinar served as an orientation to the FY18 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program. The intent of this grant program is to help agencies develop, implement, and manage a BWC program as one tool in a law enforcement agency’s comprehensive problem-solving approach to enhance officer interactions with the public, combat crime, and build community trust.

BWCs and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Integration

Integration of BWC and CAD systems can provide agencies with more streamlined information. During this webinar, participants got a chance to hear from sites who discussed their experiences with integrating CAD data into their BWC systems, the challenges they faced in combining both systems, the benefits they have experienced, and lessons learned for other agencies looking to do the same. Participants were able to gain a better understanding of this technology as well as the potential best practices to follow when integrating these technologies. 

In View Commentary: Practices from the Field

The Hogansville, GA, Police Department first implemented body-worn cameras in the middle of 2008 when former Chief of Police Moses Ector purchased two body cameras for a trail run at an International Chiefs of Police Conference. When we first deployed the cameras, there were two that were shared by the shifts. The cameras were not able to keep up with the charging requirements to remain functional so they were briefly decommissioned and spent a few months shelved. Chief Ector reissued one camera to me full time as a test subject to gauge the effectiveness of the BWC.