The Quarterly
Spring 2017
The Quarterly

The Quarterly will keep our law enforcement agencies and their partners and supporters informed of developments, trends, and news within the BWC field and encourage involvement in our ongoing activities. The Quarterly provides the most up-to-date tools and technical assistance materials for your continued success in navigating and implementing a long-lasting, successful BWC program. 

In This Issue: 
  • BWC TTA Team Spotlight
  • BWC TTA Welcomes New TTA Partner
  • BWC TTA Recap
  • Key Trends in BWC Policies
  • Featured BWC TTA Resources
  • Latest Research on BWCs
  • Special Feature: Beyond Patrol
  • Practices from the Field
  • BWCs in the News

Upcoming Events

  • 2017 National BWC TTA Meeting:
    The 2017 Body-Worn Camera Training and Technical Assistance National Meeting will be held on April 10-11 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This meeting is intended for the designated FY 2016 BWC Policy Implementation Program (PIP) grant points of contact from the funded sites, as well as their key partners in local project implementation. 

  • Webinar:  Beyond Patrol: Body-Worn Cameras in Specialized UnitsMay 30, 2017. Click here to register! 
The BWC TTA Team Spotlight

Charles Stephenson

BWC TTA Senior Advisor

Charles Stephenson is a senior advisor for the BWC TTA and is currently a public safety technologist for CNA. For the past 15 years, he has assisted public safety agencies in addressing their technology needs and challenges while supporting the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance along with various Office of Justice Programs such as the National Institute of Justice and the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers. Some of his more notable work has involved the implementation of body-worn cameras, the use of situational awareness tools, the development of dynamic open architecture radios, gunshot detection technologies, and methods to combat the illicit use of cell phones in correctional facilities. Mr. Stephenson is a retired Army Officer who served in the Signal and Ordnance Corps. Mr. Stephenson holds an MBA in project management from Columbia Southern University and a BS Degree from the University of Maryland. 

Meet the rest of the BWC TTA Team here.

BWC TTA Welcomes New Partner
The Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) has been selected to act as the local government liaison for CNA’s work supporting the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA)  Body-Worn Camera Training and Technical Assistance (BWC TTA) Project. CPSM is the exclusive provider of public safety technical assistance to the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), a 102-year-old association of professional local government managers. As a result of CPSM's efforts, ICMA has entered into an agreement with CNA to coordinate a series of informational and educational activities about the BWC TTA with its membership. The cover story on the March edition of PM Magazine, an ICMA publication, was an article by BWC TTA’s director, Dr. James “Chip” Coldren, and co-director, Dr. Michael White.

CPSM plays a connecting role in this significant effort, interacting with local government administrators and elected officials, relaying new BWC research and recommendations, and helping local government managers and leaders obtain assistance in developing their BWC programs. In addition to serving as liaison to ICMA the CPSM team, led by Principal Leonard Matarese, is interacting  with the National League of Cities (NLC) and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) to establish similar relationships with these public sector advocacy associations. For example, on March 12, Chip Coldren and Leonard Matarese appeared before the NLC Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee to discuss the research CNA has conducted on BWCs.
  For a full view of the map and more information about the funded PIP sites view our website.

Being able to respond quickly to the needs of the BWC TTA Policy and Implementation Program Sites is important for the sustainability and growth of their body-worn camera programs. The BWC TTA team has completed various requests, ranging from peer-to-peer exchanges to assistance with prosecutor collaboration, local BWC workshops, and  conference presentations for training and technical assistance. 

Speakers Bureau

The Body-Worn Camera Speakers Bureau is one part of this comprehensive effort, connecting body-worn camera subject matter experts with associations and agencies that request a speaker at an organized state, local, or tribal event.  To date the BWC TTA Team has responded to 29 requests in which a subject matter expert attended and presented on specific topics related to BWC implementation.

To request a speaker from the BWC Speakers Bureau, please complete the BWC Speakers Bureau request form

 2017 BWC TTA Regional Meeting

On January 10-11, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the BWC TTA team convened a regional meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting was facilitated by members of the BWC TTA team and BWC TTA subject matter experts. The goals of the regional meeting included:
  • Deliver technical assistance to command staff – chiefs, deputy chiefs and high-ranking staff from PIP sites.
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and networking experiences for law enforcement command staff.
  • Discuss the development and implementation of body-worn camera policy.
  • Provide chiefs and command staff with what we know; what we do not know; and how to work with officers, prosecutors, communities, and the media on the implementation of body-worn cameras.
  • Provide interactive and useful TTA to attendees
  • Explain the array of TTA resources and how to access them.
For handouts, presentations, and the summary report continue here

Key Trends in Body-Worn Camera Policy and Practice: A Policy Analysis of U.S. Department of Justice – Funded Law Enforcement Agencies

The CNA Corporation, Arizona State University (ASU), and Justice and Security Strategies (JSS) provide training and technical assistance (TTA) to law enforcement agencies who have received funding for body-worn cameras (BWCs) through the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP). Administrative policy review is a central feature of TTA. The TTA team has developed a BWC Policy Review Scorecard to assess the comprehensiveness of BWC policies. This report examines agency variation on the following five areas of BWC policy and practice:

  • Activation
  • Deactivation
  • Citizen notification
  • Officer authority to review
  • Supervisor authority to review

The analysis documented in this report includes all policies that had been approved by BJA from January 1, 2016 (the inception of the PIP program), through September 10, 2016 (n=54). Through review of 54 agency policies, we have identified 10 key BWC policy trends within the above five areas that are emerging across the United States.

Featured BWC TTA Resources
Source: ICMA, PM Magazine
Body-Worn Police Cameras: Separating Fact from Fiction
In March 2017, ICMA's publication PM Magazine released Body-Worn Police Cameras: Separating Fact from Fiction. This article examined five important claims about the technology, including the perceptions  impact, and the evidentiary value of body-worn cameras. To read the entire article, click here.


Our monthly webinars have covered topics such as  best practices in the BWC procurement process, the importance of reviewing and refining the use-of-force policy in BWC programs, recommendations on how to meet the BJA requirements, why these requirements are so important, how PIP agencies are faring in the policy review, how to avoid setbacks, model policy components, data retention and storage options, and how to manage and respond to the media and community after a crisis or high-profile event

To view previously conducted webinars, please visit our website and/or YouTube Channel

BWC TTA Regional Meetings

Twice a year the BWC TTA team conducts regional meetings across the country. In 2016 we held our first regional meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Our second regional meeting, mentioned above, was held in January 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The BWC TTA is currently planning for our third regional meeting to be held in Omaha, Nebraska. The upcoming regional meeting will cover topics such as BWC training and BWC implementation in a small agency. More details about this upcoming regional meeting will be released soon. 

To review the summary reports and materials from previous regional meetings, please click here

Latest Research on Body-Worn Cameras
Special Feature 
Beyond Patrol: Exploring the Perceptions of Police Body-Worn Cameras Among Officers in Specialized Units 

Janne E. Gaub, Natalie Todak, Michael D. White, Arizona State University

Recent events highlight the tension between police departments and the communities they serve, and body-worn cameras (BWCs) have become a perceived potential solution this complex problem. Advocates and critics of the technology have made numerous claims about BWCs (White, 2014), and a rapidly growing body of research suggests that BWCs likely deliver on several of those perceived benefits (Ariel et al., 2015; Jennings et al., 2015; Morrow et al., 2016; White et al., 2017). The existing research, however, has focused almost exclusively on the implications of BWCs for patrol officers. While this is logical given that patrol officers have the majority of contacts with citizens, an increasing number of police departments across the country are considering the deployment of BWCs to specialized units with nonpatrol functions. The lack of research in this area leaves departments in the dark regarding how best to deploy BWCs beyond patrol.
We are conducting randomized controlled trials with BWCs in Spokane, Washington and Tempe, Arizona, and as part of the project, we conducted semi-structured focus groups with officers in 17 specialized units in both departments. We asked officers about the benefits and drawbacks of BWCs, how BWCs were integrated into their daily work, and special considerations for specialized units.

The findings, which are detailed in a longer report, highlight a number of interesting points related to BWC deployment in specialized units. Officers described many benefits of BWCs that are often echoed by their counterparts in patrol: the evidentiary value of BWCs, the ability to provide a better record of the encounter, and the capacity for BWCs to assist with resolution of citizen complaints. The officers also highlighted benefits unique to their specialized assignments. Several units explained that BWCs allowed for better documentation of charges, such as for DUIs. BWCs also allow officers to capture problematic or violent crowd behavior. Officers also discussed the training value of BWCs, especially for units that conduct trainings unique to their assignments (e.g., bike squads).

Officers in specialized units also identified a number of concerns with BWCs, many of which are specific to their assignments (and not patrol). Officers talked about technical concerns, such as inadequate mounting options and the brightness and location of light indicators. Take-home vehicles present unique challenges for downloading video and charging cameras if officers do not begin and/or end their shift at a station. Several units expressed significant concerns related to which videos were made publicly available and how the tactics in those videos would be perceived by the public (e.g., dog bites). Finally, units dealing with confidential informants were particularly concerned about using BWCs.
  Our report concludes with a series of recommendations about BWC deployment in specialized units, but the big takeaway message is that “one size does not fit all.” The needs of specialized units may be different from those of patrol. The benefits and challenges may also be different. Training and policy need to reflect those differences. In short, flexibility in BWC deployment is key.    


Ariel, B., Farrar, W. A., & Sutherland, A. (2015). The effect of police body-worn cameras on use of force and citizens’ complaints against the police: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Quantitative Criminology , 31 (3), 1–27.

Jennings, W. G., Lynch, M. D., & Fridell, L. A. (2015). Evaluating the impact of police officer body-worn cameras (BWCs) on response-to-resistance and serious external complaints: Evidence from the Orlando Police Department (OPD) experience utilizing a randomized controlled experiment. Journal of Criminal Justice , 43 (6), 480–486.

Morrow, W. J., Katz, C. M., & Choate, D. E. (2016). Assessing the impact of police body-worn cameras on arresting, prosecuting, and convicting suspects of intimate partner violence. Police Quarterly, 19 (3), 303-325.

White, M. D. (2014). Police officer body-worn cameras: Assessing the evidence . Washington, DC: U.S. Department Justice, OJP Diagnostic Center.

White, M. D., Gaub, J. E., & Todak, N. (2017). Exploring the potential for police body-worn cameras to reduce violence in police-citizen encounters. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice , 11 (3). DOI: 10.1093/police/paw057

Practices From the Field: Greensboro, NC 
BWC Frequently Asked Questions Card:
Greensboro, NC, Police Department

The Greensboro, NC, Police Department recently developed a frequently asked questions card to make it easier for their officers to provide information on the department's use of body-worn cameras to community members wanting to view a BWC recording. The cards are provided to patrol officers to hand out to community members. The Greensboro police department has placed 1,000 hard copies of this card in the roll-call room at each of their four patrol substations.

To view a copy of the BWC FAQ card, please click here.

If your agency would like to be featured in our next Quarterly Newsletter, please contact us.

Greensboro Police Department Body-Worn Camera FAQs Card
Body-Worn Cameras in the News

Another important advocacy group supports putting body cameras on police officers who patrol Wisconsin communities.  End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, a coalition of 73 member organizations across the state, held focus groups “from Milwaukee to Marinette” to gauge the opinions of domestic abuse survivors and their advocates, Associate Director Tony Gibart told the State Journal editorial board

Utah has taken the lead on what state IT leaders have hailed as the largest cloud hosting services agreement to date. In just a few short months, the final details will be ironed out on a cooperative agreement that provides a clear path to cloud services for a host of states. Through the National Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) Value Point program, state officials and their partners have been hashing out the details of what will equate to a collective procurement agreement expected to benefit more than 34 states. 
In an age where technology reigns free and cameras are everywhere, police departments have been joining the inevitable wave of transparency to protect not only themselves, but the citizens as well.  In a sample of police departments surveyed in 2013, approximately 75 percent of departments reported that they did not use body-worn cameras; however, recent surveys show that 95 percent are now either committed to body cameras or have completed their implementation. 
The San Diego Police Department says body-worn cameras are having a positive impact and that coming technological upgrades will make the cameras even more effective.
Body cameras are being worn by Kalamazoo police officers on the streets, guided by a policy intended to increase officer safety, provide transparency, and build public trust.  All Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers began wearing cameras at the end of February, after the department field-tested nine different models. A policy stating proper procedure and the goals and purpose of the cameras is outlined in a nine-page document obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request earlier this week.                                      
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 This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-DE-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.