The Quarterly
Summer 2016
Welcome to the BWC TTA Quarterly Newsletter! 

Welcome to the BWC TTA Quarterly Newsletter. The Newsletter will keep our law enforcement agencies and their partners and supporters informed of the developments, trends, and news within the BWC field and encourage involvement in our ongoing activities. The Newsletter will have the most up-to-date tools and technical assistance materials for your continued success in navigating and implementing a long-lasting, successful BWC program. The Newsletter serves to promote the development of relevant policies and programs, contribute toward training and technical assistance, and support the community along the way. 

In this Issue: 
  • Welcome
  • Meet the BWC TTA Team
  • Meet the 2015 BWC PIP Sites
  • What is BWC TTA?
  • Drafting your BWC Policy?
  • Policy Considerations for Body‐Worn Cameras  in Prosecutor Offices
  • Recap: BWC TTA 2016 National Meeting 
  • Latest Research on BWCs
  • BWCs in the News

Upcoming Events

Meet the BWC TTA Team

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) launched the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Project (PIP) in FY 2015 to assist law enforcement agencies with the enhancement or implementation of Body-Worn Camera (BWC) initiatives. In addition to BWC PIP, BJA funded a new training and technical assistance (TTA) program to help local communities implement their BWC PIP initiatives.

CNA  and its partners: Arizona State University (ASU) and Justice & Security Strategies (JSS) will work with BJA to develop and expand BWC training and technical assistance

The BWC TTA Team also includes a network of subject matter expertsThese subject-matter experts have expertise in a wide variety of topics, such as community collaboration, prosecution, intelligence analysis, special operations crime prevention, and body-worn camera implementation and research.

The goals of the BWC TTA program are to learn about the progress and activities regarding BWC implementation in the funded PIP sites, identify opportunities for TTA, provide TTA efficiently and effectively, and support the successful implementation of BWCs in the PIP sites.

Meet the FY 2015 BWC PIP Sites

BJA's BWC PIP responds directly to the Obama Administration initiative to build stronger, safer communities, and grew out of two precursor developments: A BWC Expert Panel convened at the White House in February 2015 to discuss challenges to BWC implementation including community engagement, equipment purchase and maintenance, data storage, privacy concerns, and coordination across the justice system.The BJA BWC Toolkit released in May 2015,was a comprehensive clearinghouse for criminal justice practitioners interested in planning and implementing a body-worn camera program in an effort to strengthen community trust and confidence in the justice system and improve officer and community safety. In its initial yearPIP provided over $19 million in funding to 73 police agencies across the country to support BWC initiatives. The primary goals of PIP are to improve public safety, reduce crime, and improve public trust between police and the citizens they serve. The graphic below shows the distribution of PIP awards in FY 2015.

Site Progress
As of July 2016, more than 56 BWC PIP sites have completed the policy review process and are moving forward in their BWC implementation process. The remaining sites are currently working closely with the BWC TTA team to draft their respective BWC policies and continue the implementation process

What is BWC TTA?

The comprehensive BWC TTA program offers assistance and expertise on a variety of topics and common themes experienced in developing, implementing, operating, and sustaining an effective BWC program. In partnership with BJA, CNA currently provides TTA to participating police agencies, including the following:

  • Reviewing their BWC policies and assisting with policy development or enhancement
  • Consulting with BWC subject matter experts from around the country
  • Providing remote and on-site assistance with BWC implementation
  • Providing ongoing program-monitoring to document successes, outcomes, challenges, and important lessons learned.
BWCs represent one of the most important advancements in policing over the past century, and they present formidable challenges on several fronts: community engagement, equipment purchase and purchase costs, equipment maintenance and storage costs, privacy concerns, impacts and coordination across the justice system, assessing impact, and more. BJA and CNA are committed to providing the best possible service and resources to local law enforcement agencies and their BWC implementation partners, so that the nation’s experience with BWCs produces sound results, lessons for other agencies, and the desired impacts on public safety and police–community relations. 

TTA Activities 

From October 2015–to date the BWC TTA Team has received 70 TTA requests from both BWC PIP sites and non-funded agencies. Subject-matter experts from the BWC TTA Team have also conducted site visits to Detroit, MI and Carlisle, PA. The subject-matter experts provided assistance on policy development, prosecutor engagement, and community involvement.

The BWC Team has also conducted 23 podcasts, 3 webinars, and will conduct its first Regional Meeting in Charleston, SC on August 18-19, 2016.  

To request training and technical assistance, email:
Drafting your BWC Policy? 
By: Mike White, BWC TTA Co-Director

To facilitate the BWC Program Implementation Program policy review process, the TTA Team created a BWC Policy Review Scorecard. The Scorecard assesses policy comprehensiveness across 11 different areas including policy development, general issues, activation, de-activation, data transfer/download, data storage, BWC video review, training, public release of video, policy and program evaluation, and use of force policy. The Scorecard includes 45 specific policy items across the 11 areas, 17 of which are mandatory (i.e., must be covered in the policy to be approved). The Scorecard also includes a written description of the specific policy review process, identification of potential problem areas or current TTA needs, and an overall recommendation for approval by the TTA Team.

The policy review is a collaborative process between the law enforcement agency. The Scorecard is designed to rate the comprehensiveness of the policy and does not dictate directionality on issues. For example, the Scorecard requires that the policy provide officers guidance on when they are to activate the BWC, but the Scorecard does not proscribe the circumstances for activation—the specifics of an issue are left to the

discretion of the local agency. Similarly, the Scorecard requires that a policy provide guidance to officers on citizen notification of the BWC, but the local agency determines the specific guidance that is provided in the policy. A policy must receive a passing grade of 80 percent (36/45), with 100percenton the mandatory items (17/17), to be recommended for approval. BJA makes decisions to accept or not accept a policy based on the TTA review and recommendation in the BWC Policy Review Scorecard. This tool is also available for agencies that are not in the BWC PIP.

If your agency would like for the BWC TTA team to assist in policy development using this scorecard, please contact us.  

Policy Considerations for Body‐Worn Cameras 
in Prosecutor Offices
By: Damon Mosler, Deputy District Attorney at San Diego County District Attorney's Office

Body-worn recordings are not simply another type of evidence that law enforcement collects and prosecutors use to prosecute offenders; their novelty, the volume of data generated, and the public’s recent spotlight on BWCs make this type of evidence unique.

As law enforcement agencies begin to employ this new technology, prosecutor offices should consider the following when developing office policies:

  1. Coordination with law enforcement
    The prosecutor should consider coordinating with law enforcement and providing input into their policies and training sessions. This coordination will ensure that stakeholders both understand and are better able to manage the impact of body-worn cameras to their agencies.

  2. Stakeholder Meetings
    The prosecutor may consider convening a stakeholder meeting that includes (for example) law enforcement, victim advocates, community groups, defense attorneys, and local elected officials. The prosecutor can explain how the equipment works and how it will be used in court, and also address privacy concerns. The meetings will help prosecutors and law enforcement to anticipate reactions to new BWC policies.

  3. Discovery
    It may be difficult for a case prosecutor to view all of the BWC footage from a crime scene. In addition, separate prosecutors may handle the intake, motions, and trial of the case. Thus many questions will surface regarding discovery of BWC recordings.

  4. Retention and Storage
    Prosecutors should develop and identify a retention and storage plan or manual. Such a plan will assist in outlining proper retention and storage requirements.

  5. Protective Orders
    Defense attorneys, police departments, Probation, and Parole can seek protective orders to regulate the use of the body worn–camera recordings.

  6. Staffing and Funding
    Assess staffing and funding needs for viewing, editing, and transcribing. Because of the potential for mass volumes of recordings, offices may need to hire additional staff that can view, edit, organize, and transcribe the recorded evidence.
2016 BWC TTA National Meeting
Did you miss the 2016 BWC TTA National Meeting?

This meeting on April 18–19 was intended to create a forum for discussing important issues related to  Body-Worn Camera (BWC) program implementation. Participants at the National Meeting included  representatives from each of the BWC Pilot  Implementation Program sites, members of the BWC TTA Team, subject-matter experts, and representatives from BJA.
This was the first full meeting of the BJA Pilot Implementation Project (PIP) sites to include BJA, CNA, the BWC TTA Team partners (Arizona State University and Justice & Security Strategies), and several of the subject matter experts (SMEs) working with us on this initiative.  There were a number of objectives for  the National Meeting:
  • Reinforce thorough policy development and considerate implementation as the cornerstones of successful BWC programs

  • Deliver technical assistance to PIP sites on predetermined and site-generated topics

  • Review BJA’s BWC Performance Measurement Tool (PMT)

  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and networking

  • Explain the array of TTA resources and how to access them

  • Examine new and emerging issues regarding BWCs

  • Discuss site progress, accomplishments, common challenges, and forward-looking strategies. 

Materials presented at the meeting will be posted on the BWC TTA website in the coming weeks. 

Latest Research on Body-Worn Cameras
Body Worn Cameras in the News

PERF (Police Executive Research Forum) suggesting, “Officers who wear body-worn cameras should be required to articulate on camera or in writing their reasoning if they fail to record an activity that is required by department policy to be recorded.”

While the BWC is one of the biggest technological revolutions in the history of policing, it is still in its infancy. Yet testimonials from officers are beginning to pile up in support of the tiny cameras.
The roll out of body cameras started Wednesday with the first cameras issued to officers in the Central Business District. By the end of the year, 700 will be issued, according to City Manager Harry Black.
The Senate voted 47-14 to make much of the data captured by the cameras private. Some exceptions are when deadly or substantial force occurs at the hands of police, or if someone in the video seeks its release.
The University of Connecticut Police Department has had all officers wear body cameras starting July 1st in compliance with a new state law. Earlier this year, seven officers wore body cameras as a test run for the procedure.