The Quarterly
Winter 2020
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
  • Featured BWC TTA Resources
  • Latest Research on BWCs
  • Special Feature: Drafting Body-Worn Camera Policy
  • In Case You Missed It!
  • Practices from the Field
  • BWCs in the News

Quick Links

The BWC TTA Team Spotlight
Mary O'Connor

In addition to CNA and its partners, ASU and JSS, our team also includes a network of subject matter experts. These subject matter experts have expertise in a wide variety of topics, such as - use of force, technology, body-worn cameras, community collaboration, prosecution, crime prevention, and research.

Chief O'Connor has served as a BWC TTA Lead and subject matter expert since 2019. As a 22-year veteran in the law enforcement profession, she has been a proven leader in evidence-based policing and community engagement. Her entire law enforcement career was spent with the Tampa Police Department, where she worked her way to Assistant Chief and retired in 2016. Community partnerships and technology were two cornerstones of the plan that Chief O'Connor implemented contributing to a 61% reduction in crime and 54% reduction in arrests over a ten-year period. 

Chief O'Connor works today to share best practices in command leadership and community collaboration as a faculty member of the FBI LEEDA's Supervisor and Command Leadership Institutes and as a Special Advisor for the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives. She has great expertise in many different areas of law enforcement. Some of the areas include but are not limited to: evidence-based policing, community engagement, intelligence-led policing, technology, officer health and wellness, and inter-agency partnerships.

Meet the rest of the BWC TTA team here.
Welcome to the FY 19 Sites! 
As part of President Trump’s commitment to expand funding, training, and evidentiary tools for law enforcement agencies, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) significantly increased the Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program (BWC-PIP) in 2019 with an additional 82 awards to grantees, bringing the four-year total to 420 awards. BWC-PIP funding will enable the deployment of close to 100,000 BWCs across the country as part of broader BWC implementation strategies. Overall, Congress and BJA have provided more than $73 million to BWC-PIP grantees during the past 5 years to meet the immediate needs of local and tribal law enforcement organizations. The BWC-PIP program has supported agencies in nearly every state, as well as several agencies operating in tribal areas and territories, as depicted in the BWC Policy and Implementation Program Award Map. A number of BWC-PIP awards are administered as multiagency partnerships or through regional and state organizations. For example, in FY 2019, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency received a BWC-PIP award to support BWC implementation in 29 law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

For a complete list of the FY19 BWC sites, click here.
Spotlight on BWC Resource
Key Trends in Body-Worn Camera Policy and Practice

The CNA Corporation, Arizona State University (ASU), and Justice and Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS) provide training and technical assistance (TTA) to law enforcement agencies who have received funding for body-worn cameras (BWCs) through the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP).

Administrative policy review is a central feature of the TTA provided to the PIP sites. The TTA team developed a policy review process and BWC Policy Review Scorecard to assess the comprehensiveness of BWC policies.

This report describes the results of an analysis of 304 policies from FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017, and FY 2018 grantees that had their BWC policy scorecards approved through the scorecard process. Through review of the 304 agency policies, the authors identified key BWC policy trends across ten important BWC issues: activation, deactivation, citizen notification, officer authority to review, supervisor authority to review, off-duty assignment, activation during demonstrations, temporary deactivation (and muting), frequency of supervisory auditing, and mentions of non-patrol units wearing BWCs.

To view the report, click here .
Featured BWC TTA Resources

As you begin implementing your body‐worn camera (BWC) programs, it is important to know who to contact with your specific questions. Understanding whether your questions should be directed toward your Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) “state policy advisor” or your BWC Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) “subject matter expert” (SME) will ensure a more
accurate and timely response and the ultimate success of your program.

See the roles described 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 Weekly Newsletters

The BWC TTA Weekly Newsletters provide up to date information on current In View Commentaries, BWC Resources, Webinars, Podcasts, BWCs in the News, and the BWC Technology Corner.

To subscribe to these newsletters, please email the BWC TTA team at [email protected].
Latest Research on Body-Worn Cameras
Special Feature:
Drafting Body-Worn Camera Policy
An agency's body-worn camera (BWC) policy is essential to the successful implementation of its BWC program. This document provides sample policy language that previous BWC Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) grantees have used in their BWC policies to sufficiently address objectives on the BWC Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Scorecard. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the BWC TTA providers, CNA, Arizona State University (ASU), and Justice and Security Strategies Inc. (JSS), provide examples of policy language that agencies can use to address Scorecard objectives and BWC topics (i.e., activation, deactivation, citizen notification, etc.) in a variety of ways. This document is not prescriptive nor does it direct agencies to address Scorecard objectives or BWC topics in a specific manner. The full document can be found at the link below. Example policies on individual BWC topics can be found at the links below, organized by category. 

Read the full document here
In Case You Missed It!
BWCs in the Medical Field: How Can BWC Programs Work Within HIPAA?

On November 19, 2019, the BWC TTA provider hosted a webinar on body-worn cameras (BWC) in the medical field and discussed how these programs can work within HIPAA. The webinar provided insights and experiences regarding how body-worn camera programs have or have not impacted police agencies as they relate to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Panelists discussed several ways that BWC programs can incorporate HIPAA language.

To view the webinar, clic here .
Practices from the Field
Leading the Way on Body-Worn Camera Implementation: Las Vegas Metropolitan, Nevada Police Department

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) was established in 1973 and is a joint city-county police force for the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. With a sworn police force of over 3,000 officers, LVMPD serves over 2.2 million people. In FY 2015, LVMPD received a Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program award of $250,000 to purchase over 250 cameras. As one of the first agencies to implement BWCs, LVMPD has become an innovative leader in many aspects of BWC implementation, including policy development, research and evaluation, and BWC technology management. Agencies across the country look to LVMPD for guidance, particularly on policy issues regarding officer and citizen review of video as well as policy auditing and compliance.

The development of LVMPD’s first BWC policy was challenging. In 2013, the department created a team to evaluate BWCs and write the initial policy. At this time, very little material on best practices existed, and no large agency policies could be adapted to meet LVMPD’s unique needs. The department was only in the camera evaluation stage as the request for proposals was under development. They understood a solid policy that covered activation, deactivation, supervisory review, maintenance, upload procedures, and the handling of cameras at critical incidents had to be written prior to procuring and deploying cameras. However, real-world camera use is critical for refining policies. By the time the first set of cameras arrived in early 2014, LVMPD had created a formal BWC Section, headed by a program manager (PM). The PM scoured available references and reached out to smaller agencies to glean valuable lessons learned from their deployments. LVMPD updated the policy with these lessons as well as some common-sense refinements, such as recording crime scenes and using BWCs during overtime assignments. Shortly after LVMPD revised its policy, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) published “Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program.” This publication would serve as a foundational benchmark reference for agencies, and it helped validate the LVMPD’s policy. The third revision of the LVMPD policy drew from this report and included recommendations not covered in previous versions.

The national events of summer and fall of 2014 in Ferguson, MO and New York City, NY, were catalysts for dramatic and rapid increases in BWC deployments around the country. Agencies began discussing best practices for BWC policy and deployment. LVMPD fielded 200 cameras in 2014 and steadily increased that number over the following four years until the department reached full deployment. The BWC Section continued to monitor all aspects of the program and continually adjust policy to account for lessons learned both internally and from other agencies. On the national front, the BJA funded the BWC TTA Team to help agencies that received federal grants for BWC procurement develop comprehensive policies. LVMPD was among the initial 2015 grant year awardees. The assistance of the TTA Team helped LVMPD further revise its policy. Once most cameras were deployed, the BWC Section concentrated on revising policy and procedures even further to address issues not previously considered. Areas that needed to be addressed or refined in the policy included BWC use compliance, audits, transfer of video to the prosecutor’s office, cameras on plain-clothes officers, BWC use during major public disturbance incidents, and handling of public records requests. This continuous monitoring and refinement is ongoing to this day.

Takeaways from the initial LVMPD experience include the following:
  • Agency policy continually evolves and should be monitored and adjusted in response to agency needs and lessons learned from using the cameras.
  • Do not develop policy in a vacuum. Reach out to other agencies and community stakeholders and make use of all available references.
  • Consider creating a BWC PM position (or section if you have the resources). Designate someone to monitor all aspects of the program and policy, at least until BWC usage becomes “institutionalized.”
  • Know that once deployment is over, unanticipated issues will arise, such as BWC technology failures and storage capacity requirements. The agency must address these as quickly as possible.
  • Finally, ensure that other policies and practices are reviewed for the impact of BWCs. Handling of BWCs post-officer-involved shooting and public records requests are two examples.

If your agency would like to be featured in the next issue of The Quarterly , please contact us .
Body-Worn Cameras in the News
Hennepin County elected officials on Tuesday finalized a $5.1 million plan to equip sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers with body cameras — joining the majority of Minnesota law-enforcement agencies and an estimated 10,500 departments nationwide that have adopted or procured the video technology.
Rural agencies face growing pressure to add body-worn cameras to their tech toolboxes, as officers, attorneys and the public increasingly depend upon recorded evidence. Since more than half of all U.S. law enforcement agencies serve jurisdictions with 10,000 or fewer residents, and nearly half have 10 officers or less, this is a financial and administrative concern too large to leave to inertia.
What could have been a horrible situation was turned into a peaceful resolution after Montgomery County (MD) police officers thwarted a possible attack. Last week a man who was armed, walked into a 7-Eleven with employees and customers. An officer’s bodycam footage shows how it all went down.
Police body camera video is shown in court, and in the media, during high-profile cases. But most cases are routine, and the video doesn’t show much. Still, the footage is considered evidence, and it must be accounted for whenever a case goes forward. In Marion County (FL), prosecutors and public defenders found themselves increasingly bogged down with the vast number of videos given to them for review. So the two entities, though adversaries in the courtroom, decided to join forces and look for some help.
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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.