LBPD To Deploy Officer Body-Worn Cameras on 07/01/2020
LBPD to implement Body-Worn Camera Program – 07/01/2020:
LBPD officers will begin wearing body-worn cameras (BWCs) starting at 7:00 AM on 07/01/2020. Each officer is assigned a camera system with unique identifiers to that officer, which will be utilized for day-to-day field operations. The LBPD is now the fifth police agency in Lancaster County to equip officers with body-worn cameras.
The addition of the body-worn cameras is the latest technology piece to be included in what was a multi-phase implementation process of audio and video camera systems for LBPD officers. The Borough of Lititz approved the body-worn camera purchase for the 2020 budget in late 2019 and the LBPD began the process of implementing body-worn cameras and the grant application process in January of 2020. In totality, the project was funded through a grant award, municipal budgeting and donations from local civic organizations who were in support of the agency efforts. All of these components are interoperable; able to independently communicate and share data with each another and activate embedded features contained within. This process has resulted in a single platform which is robust, and includes:
- LBPD officer body-worn cameras
- LBPD patrol vehicle mounted cameras
- LBPD station interview room cameras
- LBPD data storage equipment
Generally speaking, the following high-quality police services were desired by the LBPD and will be realized with this latest implementation:
- Cost containment
- Risk containment
- Use of emergent best practices
- Integrate leading-edge technology to criminal justice operations
- Agency compliance with all requirements of law concerning privacy and retention of interactions
- Agency compliance with PLEAC Accreditation requirements
The multi-phase implementation plan allowed the LBPD to spread the total cost of the program out over several fiscal years, which eased the burden of purchasing this equipment. The LBPD believes there will be a significant return on the investment.
The LBPD filed a grant application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to fund the purchase of the body-worn cameras. The grant application provided a funding stream of $7,500 to the LBPD, requiring an agency match. The planning process incorporated input from community stakeholders, criminal justice professionals and LBPD administrative review of contemporary best-practices related to body-worn camera systems. As part of the grant award process, the LBPD body-worn camera program was subjected to professional scrutiny to ensure compliance with applicable law and best-practices, compliance verifications include:
- US DOJ policy review and comment (rated “strong”)
- PA State Police, CLEAN Administrative Section data storage handling approval
- PCCD procurement process approval
- Compliance with applicable Federal and State law
Prior to LBPD officers utilizing the body-worn cameras, officers participated in a comprehensive training curriculum, which included the following elements:
- Relevant Federal and State law regarding audio and video recordings by law enforcement officers
- LBPD policy regarding audio and video recordings by law enforcement officers
- BWX-100 manufacturer training
- LBPD internal “hands-on” training scenarios
LBPD officers will be required to participate in continuing education annually and at periodic intervals due to policy updates and/or relevant law updates.
The end result will be an evidence management and reporting capability that provides LBPD officers with simple and effective outcomes. The entire system approach will take advantage of interoperability to provide an efficient and seamless process from start-to-end.
Additionally, this will provide the transparency and accountability which is so important in maintaining public support and trust, offering best-evidence in court proceedings and ensuring accountability if there is a concern surrounding officer conduct, to the end that the ultimate investigatory conclusion (whatever that may be) is a process and conclusion which is not only just, but arrived at in a transparent manner.
In the interest of transparency, the LBPD is publicly releasing our policy regarding Audio and Video Recordings by Law Enforcement Officers (General Order 2.4.2). The policy can be found as an attachment to this post, or it can be found in the policy and procedure section of LititzPD.org
# # #