BWC TTA Updates

Chief Scot Haug (ret.)

Implementing, expanding, or updating a body-worn camera (BWC) program comes with important considerations and a number of challenges. One particular challenge is that BWCs increase workloads and, thus, staffing needs. When it comes to BWC programs, agencies frequently ask, “Are additional personnel going to be required, and, if so, how do I determine the level of increase and justify the associated expense?”

The answer to that question: “It depends.” It would be nice to have a simple computation, such as “adding X cameras will require Y additional personnel.” However, such a computation isn’t possible because of the many variables involved in BWC implementation. One of the biggest is the variety of responsibilities that will arise from the BWC program. For example, does the agency have a robust IT infrastructure that can handle the rollout of BWCs? Does the agency have staff in place to perform auditing and compliance checks associated with BWC use?

Click here to read the full In-View.

All New Jersey police to get body worn cameras

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today released the final report of the Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras, which will provide advice and recommendations regarding technology solutions to assist with the deployment of body worn cameras by all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey.

Senator Shirley Turner sponsored legislation requiring that by June 1 every uniformed patrol officer in New Jersey wear a body worn camera (“BWC”) while on duty.

Previously, fewer than half of the law enforcement agencies in the state had BWCs.

Another law appropriated $58 million for grants-in-aid to support the statewide body worn camera program in January.

Recently, the BWC TTA updated the Directories of Outcomes on the impact of BWCs on Use of Force and impact of BWCs on Citizen Complaints. Because the research base on the impact of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) has grown rapidly, the results have become increasingly mixed. This development poses two problems: 

  1. It is difficult to keep track of the quickly growing evidence base. 
  2. It is difficult to make sense of the sometimes competing findings across studies. 

Moreover, studies can vary widely in terms of their methodological rigor. We developed the Body-Worn Camera Outcome Directories to address these two problems. The Directories provide a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the existing research by outcome (use of force, citizen complaints, officer activity). Importantly, each study’s entry has been approved by the primary researcher to ensure accuracy (when the primary researcher could not be reached, an independent reviewer was tasked with peer-reviewing the interpretation of the study’s findings). 

Click here to view the updated directories on the impact of BWCs on use of force and the impact of BWCs on citizen complaints.

This webinar provided an overview of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) after six years of operation, drawing on the experiences of grant program personnel, public safety executives whose agencies have received funding, and training and technical assistance providers who have helped guide the program from its inception. The discussion highlighted how agencies have used BWC funding and TTA to build successful and comprehensive BWC programs. Discussion focused briefly on the origins of BWC PIP, its evolution, and directions for the future

Click here to view the webinar.