Body-Worn Camera Footage: What do we do with all that evidence?

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) launched the Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy and Implementation Program (PIP) in FY 2015 to assist law enforcement agencies in enhancing or implementing BWC programs. PIP’s primary goals are to improve public safety, reduce crime, and improve trust between police and the citizens they serve.

In addition to funding over $85 million in grants to 420 police agencies across the country over the past five years, BJA also funded CNA and its partners (Arizona State University, and Justice and Security Strategies) to establish the BWC Training and Technical Assistance (BWC TTA) program. The BWC TTA program documents BWC implementation progress and activities in the funded PIP sites, identifies opportunities to assist local jurisdictions in their implementation efforts, provides such assistance in an efficient and effective manner, and generally supports the successful implementation of BWCs in the PIP sites.

This webinar focused on BWC footage as a form of digital evidence and how agencies are leveraging and managing large volumes of digital evidence media (DEM) being generated by BWCs. The panel consisted of representatives from three police agencies and a researcher. A facilitator asked specific questions about how agencies are managing large volumes of DEM data; what metrics are being used to measure DEM impact; how tagging and categorizing of footage is being done; how footage is used within a police agency for investigation and training; and how requests for footage from the media and the public are handled.

This was the first in a companion webinar series. A follow-up webinar will focus on how law enforcement agencies are collaborating with prosecutors in leveraging BWC footage to better inform prosecution practices, including charging decisions and when presenting digital evidence in court.