We continue to roll out our Body Worn Camera (BWC) Program throughout our 5 police precincts. We’ve had a very smooth transition and officers and community members are becoming more familiar and more comfortable with the program as we progress.
At this point, 363 officers have been trained and equipped with BWCs in the city’s First, Third and Fourth police precincts. This week our patrol officers in the Second Precinct are being trained and equipped. We will conclude our rollout program in the Fifth Precinct in the third week of October. That adds up to 224 more devices to be issued in a little more than a month. Our trainers really have this important presentation for our cops down to a science!
Thus far, the equipment is in good working order and the quality of the video from the cameras has been phenomenal. The infrastructure that helps us store and retrieve the camera footage has held up extremely well and we haven’t had a single issue in that regard. The only real challenge we’ve had is making sure we can securely fasten the BWCs to officers’ uniforms. We have issued several different types of camera mounts as we continue to evaluate which fastener will be the most effective.
I’ve said we believe the cameras will be tools that will increase public trust and transparency, and they will aid in holding everyone accountable during police-public interactions. We’ve been told by prosecutors that body camera footage has been the determining factor in their ability to charge certain cases that may not have been prosecutable. Our officers tell us once they notify some people the cameras are on and rolling, they’ve had several experiences where de-escalation on the part of a subject has happened almost immediately.
If you’d like to learn more about the MPD’s Body Worn Camera Program, I encourage you to review the following links we’ve put together for you. We’ve also added a document that details how public access to the BWC videos is governed, as mandated, by the state legislature.
I look forward to continuing the community conversations that we’ve been having for two years now, including a couple of community update sessions the MPD plans to announce in the very near future. We also continue to gather feedback from our officers. The MPD will also continue to welcome all feedback and input, and I certainly look forward to catching up with you in a little more than a month’s time, when all MPD Patrol Officers will be wearing this valuable equipment.