The Quarterly
The Quarterly keeps our law enforcement agencies and their partners and supporters informed of developments, trends, and news within the body-worn camera (BWC) field and encourages 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
  • Spotlight on BWC Resource: Does Agency Size Matter?
  • Featured BWC TTA Resources
  • Latest Research on BWCs
  • Special Feature: Developing a Crisis Communication Plan: 5 Important Strategies
  • In Case You Missed It!
  • Practices from the Field
  • BWCs in the News

Quick Links

The BWC TTA Team Spotlight
Geoff Smith
Director of Public Safety, Sturgis, MI
The BWC TTA team consists of CNA, ASU, JSS, and a network of subject matter experts who have expertise in a wide variety of topics, such as use of force, policy and procedure, technology, body-worn cameras, community collaboration, prosecution, crime prevention, and justice research.

Geoff Smith is the Director of Public Safety for the City of Sturgis, Michigan, with a force of 21 sworn officers. Geoff has been involved in or led several technology-implementation initiatives for his department including in-car systems, BWCs, and vehicle monitoring equipment. He has also mentored and assisted other agencies with implementation of BWCs.
Geoff has been a member of the law enforcement community for over 24 years, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management & Organizational
Development from Spring Arbor University, and is certified as an instructor or specialist in various disciplines including computer and cell phone forensics. Geoff is currently a member of L.E.A.F., which is a group of chiefs, litigation attorneys and the Michigan Municipal League that develops “Best Practices” policies for departments across the State. Geoff has presented on several topics including technology, active shooter trainings, and BWCs at annual conferences of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP), the Michigan Municipal League, and the IACP. In June 2020, he was named the President of MACP and is a Past President of the Western Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Director Smith was recently honored by the Sturgis City Commission for saving lives during a recent fire at a family dwelling.
Spotlight on BWC Resource
Does Agency Size Matter?
Key Trends in Body-Worn Camera Policy and Practice

This report serves as an addendum to our more extensive four-year policy analysis report. Refer to the larger report for a more detailed description of the methodology, selection of policy issues, and general policy trends. In this report, we explore whether there is variation in body-worn camera (BWC) policy positions across agencies of different sizes. For example, do departments with fewer than 25 officers address BWC policy issues such as activation and de-activation the way much larger agencies do?

In this report, we examine 22 specific issues across 10 general policy areas. Our review focuses on 250 policies of agencies that received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) in FY 2016, FY 2017, and FY 2018.

We created a four-level classification of agencies based on the number of sworn officers:

Extra-small: 1–24 sworn (n=68)
Small: 25–99 sworn (n=88)
Medium: 100–499 sworn (n=59)
Large: 500 or more sworn (n=35)

Three general findings emerged from the policy analysis by agency size.

  1. Overall, there is a high degree of consistency in policy positions across agencies of different sizes. For the most part, agency size does not affect BWC policy.
  2. There are a handful of notable differences across policy issues, but there is no clear or consistent relationship between policy positions and agency size. Extra-small and small agencies did not always align. Medium and large agencies did not always align.When there were notable differences on an issue, extra-small agencies (1–24 sworn) were usually the outlier.
  3. The consistency in positions across agency size bodes well for identifying best practices in body-worn camera policy.
Featured BWC TTA Resources
BWC PIP Grant Reporting Guidelines

We frequently receive questions from BWC sites on when grant reporting requirements are due and whom to contact with questions. To help address these questions, we have developed the BWC Grant Reporting Reminders resource. Please feel free to reference and share this resource as needed and please reach out to the BWC TTA team if you have any questions.

To view the entire chart, click   here.
In View: Commentary from BWC Experts

In View Commentaries feature commentary from BWC experts, including researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.

Read the recent In Views here :
BWC TTA Podcasts

The Body-Worn Camera TTA Podcasts provide a unique opportunity for law enforcement officers, researchers, and the law enforcement community to learn about a variety of topics related to body- worn cameras. The podcasts are available for you to listen to at your own convenience on our website and on various podcast channels. Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions, requests for additional information, or to suggest additional podcast topics.

To subscribe to different channels, visit the BWC TTA website or click on the images to the left.

Latest Research on Body-Worn Cameras
Special Feature:
Developing a Crisis Communication Plan:
5 Important Strategies
High-profile critical incidents and crises threatening the safety, integrity, reputation, and standing of a law enforcement agency typically generate intense public scrutiny of a department. How department leaders respond to the community during these difficult times can affect public trust and, ultimately, support for the agency. This makes crisis communication and proactive outreach an integral part of its operations; however, this aspect is often overlooked. Law enforcement agencies devise operational plans and train for almost all eventualities, but can often overlook crisis communication planning, which can greatly affect its relationship with the community and local media and leave the department without a plan and with limited training. Establishing a plan and practicing it with smaller scale incidents, such as a significant traffic event or a crime scene affecting commuters, is the first step toward managing the department’s messaging during a significant event. This article will look at five important strategies that should be part of any agency’s crisis communication plan.

Read the full document here
In Case You Missed It!
Overcoming the 'Big Brother' Fear for Officers and Deputies

The ‘Big Brother’ fear can be very challenging for deputies, police, and, correctional officers when their actions are being recorded and displayed to the community upon request. This fear for officers/deputies includes suspicions and concerns of being caught doing something wrong, having someone always watching, and their actions being made public for everyone to see all of the time. This webinar provided insights and experiences regarding how law enforcement agencies and their officers and deputies wearing body-worn cameras overcame the ‘Big Brother’ fear. We discussed how the entire implementation process can make a difference generating ‘buy in’ from officers and deputies. It is important for law enforcement agencies to prepare their deputies and officers for success when wearing body-worn cameras by involving them throughout the research, policy development, and deployment of the BWC. Engaging the officers and deputies in educating the community during the research, test, and evaluation phase also promotes community involvement and demonstrates transparency.

We learned from the Atlanta, GA, Police Department and the Berkeley County, SC, Sheriff’s Office how their departments have overcome this concern. They highlighted the experiences they have had in their BWC programs, including their rollout phase and how they have improved officer buy-in and officer perceptions, and alleviated the big brother fear.

To view the webinar, clic here .
Practices from the Field
Gresham, OR, Police Department:
Navigating the Vendor Selection Process

The Gresham (OR) Police Department (GPD) initially sought BWCs as a way to enhance relationships with the community and increase transparency within the police department. GPD did not have a particular critical incident that spurred a call for BWCs. Rather, the police department wanted to be proactive and get in front of any potential future incident to ensure that its 135 sworn officers were wearing BWCs for the more than 70,000 annual calls for service. Given budgetary limits, GPD jumped at the opportunity to apply for the BJA BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) grant. There was a series of town halls and community meetings, which provided an opportunity for GPD to garner buy-in and receive feedback. Overall, the reception and support from the community was very positive.

A critical aspect of GPD’s BWC program was the selection of the best-fit vendor to meet their needs. GPD wanted to ensure that the selection process was methodological and informed. To start this process, GPD held a full-day vendor fair where nine different vendors had the opportunity to demonstrate their products to a group of sworn officers, command staff, the purchasing agent, and staff from the IT department. Each of these groups asked the vendors pre-established questions about the equipment and its performance.

Following the vendor show, City of Gresham staff used the information gathered at the vendor fair to develop a comprehensive set of required camera and video specifications, which were incorporated into a Request for Proposals (RFP), which was formally advertised in a major newspaper, posted on-line, and sent to all the vendors who participated in the vendor fair.

Eight vendors submitted priced proposals in response to the RFP. All eight written proposals were rated and ranked based upon pre-established criteria outlined in the RFP. Approximately half of the vendors submitting proposals had not participated in the vendor fair so staff decided to have all eight vendors come to Gresham for a half-day session each, to provide more detail on their company, their products, and to give an in-depth presentation of the software that would secure, store, and allow careful distribution of captured video images. Based on the evaluation of the written proposals and the half-day demonstrations, GPD and the District Attorney’s office (DA) selected four vendors  to field test. Officers tested each of those four vendors for a one-month period (four months total).

GPD’s deployment of its BWCs was just as methodological as its selection of a vendor. Starting in January 2020, GPD began a shift-by-shift deployment of BWCs to patrol officers that ended in March. This approach proved to be beneficial as it allowed GPD to troubleshoot any issues and ensure that one shift was self-sufficient, before moving on to the next shift. The shift-by-shift deployment also gave the DA’s office time to prepare for the volume of evidence it would be inundated with after the full deployment of the BWCs.

There are a few key lessons that GPD learned throughout the vendor selection and deployment processes. Originally, the BWC selection team expected the vendor price to play a large role in the rating of vendors. However, the selection team realized that doing so would greatly jeopardize the quality of the BWCs that they could select, and they opted to prioritize the features and quality of the product along with price. Another lesson that GPD learned was the importance of partnering with the IT department and the DA’s office at the beginning of the process. GPD did so, and because different partners felt that their voices were heard, GPD was able to gain buy-in from these partners and have their support through the entire process.
If your agency would like to be featured in the next issue of The Quarterly , please contact us .
Body-Worn Cameras in the News
First responders and essential medical service workers in Santa Clara County are getting a new safeguard against the coronavirus. They now have a place to quickly decontaminate, if they think they may have been exposed to the deadly virus on the job. First responders who might be exposed to the virus will park in specially marked parking spaces where their vehicles will be cleaned. Then, they will secure their weapons and step into a tented area called a ‘decon staging area.’ The cleansing process begins at the bottom. Responders will step into tubs filled with a bleach and water solution first, then they remove their boots and place them into bags. Next, they’re given spray bottles to decontaminate their gear, such as radios and body cameras.
Noblesville, IN, police officers will start wearing body cameras with gunshot detection technology designed to assist in active shooter situations. All officers will be equipped with the cameras by the end of the summer, which the city council dedicated $1.2 million for, city spokeswoman Emily Gaylord said. Police Chief John Mann said the 95 cameras — one for each of the 93 officers and two extra ones — will have an added feature that can trace and pinpoint the source of gunshots for officers wearing the cameras. It will be especially useful in situations in which a gunman is roving in a school, shopping mall or business, he said.
As the George Floyd protests heighten issues of law enforcement accountability, officials announced Tuesday that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies will finally begin wearing body cameras later this year.” The L.A. County Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report Tuesday in which it said that deputies would begin wearing the cameras in the third quarter of this year, meaning sometime this fall. The sheriff’s department has received $34.7 million in funding to equip all its deputies with body cameras, according to the report. The contract with the vendor providing the cameras is still being negotiated, according to the OIG. “LASD has lagged far behind other major police agencies in the incorporation of video technology as a means for police supervision and public accountability,” LA Inspector General Max Huntsman wrote in his report. “This step forward, slow as it is, is historic.”
Likely by later this year, police in Costa Mesa and Irvine will join the ranks of officers wearing body cameras as they go about their jobs. At least half a dozen Orange County, CA, cities – including Anaheim, Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Santa Ana – already provide their officers body-worn cameras, which are attached to the uniform somewhere on the upper body and are typically required to be turned on to capture any official interaction between the officer and the public. Body cameras have gone into widespread use across law enforcement in recent years, and they’re being further encouraged or demanded by protesters urging police reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the custody of Minneapolis police. Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel, who will present his proposal for body cameras to the Irvine City Council on Tuesday, June 23, said his department had already been considering them and had budgeted money for a pilot camera program next year.
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Points of view or opinions in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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 US Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.