Here’s some food for thought:
There are a lot of options out there, some good, some not so good. It’s critical that you CAREFULLY evaluate your specific goals and objectives BEFORE you decide on which camera to purchase.
Not every camera is going to be a perfect fit for every application. Decide what you want to accomplish and what your limitations are early on in the selection process. This isn’t just budget but all the potential operational and personnel issues that may come up. It’s a great idea to write your policy and Standard Operating Procedures and THEN decide what camera is going to fit your needs. As Body Cam’s are a huge political football right now it wouldn’t hurt to get input from your elected leaders in this process. They don’t need to write your policy but they can be very helpful in verbalizing the community’s goals for the program and it will give them ownership and buy in when funding time comes around.
Body worn cameras are the future for documenting government employee’s interaction with the public. Thinking about and establishing your operational objectives now will go a long way towards making a smooth deployment. We’ll talk more later on the specifics of deployment; the when, where, why, what and most importantly how do you manage this program for success.
"A department that deploys body-worn cameras is making a [public] statement that it believes the actions of its officers are a matter of public record" ~Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum
Article Written by Brian Ferring, Regional Sales Manager PCS Mobile
Brian is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Officer and former Police Chief and Chief Deputy Sheriff. He has extensive education and experience in Law Enforcement Operations, Policy and Management.