Over the last two years body worn cameras (BWC) have become an essential part of policing and public safety. While most people would think that a BWC program simply involves equipping officers with cameras affixed to their lapels, the camera is only one part of what is a comprehensive and complex initiative.
As with the deployment of video surveillance cameras, dash cams, and other forms of data recording devices, a robust data management infrastructure must also be part of a BWC program. Not only must the data management infrastructure be able to store the footage, but it must also be able to do so securely to withstand any challenge to the chain of custody if footage becomes part of evidence in a crime or investigation.
The City of Columbus, which recently invested $1.5 million in a new redundant data management system to support its body worn camera program, was prompted to do so following reports that “100,000 files of police cruiser video…[were] inadvertently deleted.” Avoiding a repetition of that situation was something that city administrators and police leadership wanted to preempt as they rolled out the BWC program. As well as investing in the data management infrastructure, officials have also established policies that govern who can access the data and established a data retention strategy.
In making the investment in a robust data management infrastructure with supporting policies the City of Columbus has established a best-in-class standard for police departments in America’s cities, counties, and states. And while the budget for this project may seem out of reach for many jurisdictions, the good news is that there are grants and additional funding available to help jurisdictions’ manage the costs of a comprehensive BWC program.
For public safety organizations looking to deliver a BWC program, SentiVault, in conjunction with the Grants Office, LLC, is hosting a one-hour webinar on Tuesday, October 10th at 2pm Eastern to share insights from the field about how to develop a 360-degree project plan, how to fund the project with Department of Justice grants, streamline deployment of BWC initiatives to avoid common pitfalls, and how to establish data retention and access policies that meet community needs.
Interested in registering for the event? You can do that here.