The Springfield Police Department Will Begin Implementing Body Worn Cameras in May 2021
In May of 2021 the Springfield Police Department will begin implementation of body-worn cameras to our officers. This technology is an opportunity to showcase and enhance the department’s commitment to transparency while further strengthening the level of trust that exists between the men and women of the Springfield Police Department and our community.
The body-worn camera (BWC) project team began meeting weekly as of June 17th, 2020. The BWC project team consists of members from City of Springfield Police and Information Technology Departments. Initial BWC project team efforts focused on high-level project planning, defining business requirements, and coordinating vendor demonstrations and product testing.
To support system selection efforts, vendor demonstrations were scheduled with several vendors. A group of officers were selected to test and evaluate both systems. The project team also evaluated system performance and adherence to business requirements. Ultimately, Getac was identified as the preferred solution.
Implementation of BWCs has remained the priority technology project for SPD and the BWC project team. Additionally, in-car video (ICV) has become a significant secondary focus. ICV is directly connected to the BWC project’s goal of gathering video evidence of police interactions to increase available information for investigations, accountability, and demonstrated effort towards public transparency. Once Getac was identified as the preferred BWC vendor, the cost of implementing integrated Getac ICV systems throughout the patrol vehicle fleet was identified and presented to City Council on October 5, 2020. The Council approved our request to pursue ICV implementation in conjunction with the BWC project. However, ICV may be a phased implementation after BWC’s have been deployed to officers. Throughout this project we have provided information to the Springfield City Council for consideration.
SPD was granted an award under the BJA Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies funding opportunity. The approved award amount is $120,000. In order to adhere to the grant special conditions, SPD had to receive BJA approval of our BWC policy prior to obligating funds supporting BWC implementation costs. Notification of BJA’s approval of the BWC policy and removal of the grant special condition was received on March 1, 2021. The BJA reviewer noted the policy and review were good and commented they may consider using it as a “model policy”.
Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras
Police worn body cameras have been shown to provide several benefits, including:
- Improve accountability
- Improve evidentiary outcomes
- Enhance the safety of, and improve interactions between, officers and the community