Need grant funding for body cameras? Follow these recommendations
Understanding the requirements for a BWC program will assure that you will be eligible for future funding
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has just released its comprehensive toolkit and clearinghouse for law enforcement for planning and implementing a body-worn camera (BWC) program. This toolkit includes how to get started, current research on the tech, policy best practices, and training. A BWC program involves much more than the purchase and dissemination of the tool. It is recommended by the BJA that every department should develop a comprehensive plan though a working group composed of a broad range of criminal justice personnel along with stakeholders and community members. Keep in mind that grant funding will require compliance with these recommendations.
The following questions should be considered when starting the planning process. (Click here to reveal the answers.)
- What is the best way to implement a body-worn camera program?
- Where can I find an Implementation Checklist to help me get started?
- How should we evaluate the effectiveness of our body-worn camera program?
- What do law enforcement agencies need to do to prepare the prosecutor and other criminal justice agencies for the implementation of a body-worn camera program?
- What are the best available sources of information on officer body-worn cameras?
- How much does it cost to implement a body-worn camera program?
- What are the key policy areas law enforcement should consider before implementing a body-worn camera program?
- Are there sample or model policies that we can examine before developing the administrative policy governing our body-worn camera program?
- What type of funding is available to implement body-worn camera programs?
- What is the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Partnership Program?
- What external stakeholders should be engaged in the planning and deployment process?
- Can I reuse the materials in the toolkit?
- Do body-worn cameras change officer daily practices?
- Should there be efforts by the law enforcement agency to educate the public about body-worn cameras?
- Who should deliver training to law enforcement officers about the deployment of body-worn cameras?
- How can line officers and law enforcement bargaining units participate in the implementation of officer body-worn cameras programs?
- What other units in the law enforcement agency should be involved in the body-worn camera implementation process?
The BJA’s website provides you with the details concerning BWC programs and step-by-step instructions on how to develop a strong and fundable plan. The toolkit has a fully developed section on policy, technology, privacy, training and finding stakeholders.
Implementation checklists are available for each area listed above to enable a working group to move carefully and quickly through a strategic planning process. Video presentations concerning each topic are also available and may be used as needed for your workgroup training and orientation for the process.
If your department already has a BWC program, it is highly recommended that your appoint a workgroup to review your program and hold it up against the toolkit requirements to discover what is missing or needs improving. This will assure that you will be able to compete for additional cameras as needed within the grant programs available such as the Justice Assistance grant and Community Policing programs.
This toolkit can assist you to comprehensively take a look at your current program or develop a new one. Either way, understanding the requirements for a BWC program will assure that you will be solidly eligible for future funding for this purchase.