Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $451,571)
The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is seeking funding under the BJA Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies to enhance, expand, and improve its comprehensive body-worn camera program. CSPD is well-positioned to expand its existing BWC program, which was established in 2016 with funding from the Body-Worn Camera Implementation Program. The current program is established and successful. Existing policies and training programs will be updated and modified as part of this project using input from community and criminal justice stakeholders. The project will serve the citizens of Colorado Springs and sworn officers of CSPD.
The primary goals of the project are:
1) Increase transparency and accountability within the community,
2) Comply with Colorado legislation, and
3) Capture video evidence
The primary activities that will be accomplished with grant funding will be the acquisition of 231 body-worn cameras to outfit each sworn member of CSPD with a BWC, and the hiring of a full-time evidence technician to support the BWC program.
The acquired BWCs will equip CSPD sworn police officers not currently assigned body-worn cameras with a BWC. The expansion will ensure that every CPSD officer is assigned a BWC, satisfying the requirements of recent Colorado legislation. Footage captured by the BWC will be utilized in training, when appropriate.
The augmentation of new body-worn cameras will generate an increased workload for the assigned evidence technicians. With grant funding, CSPD will add an additional full-time evidence technician to assist with the tasks associated with the position. The job responsibilities include maintenance, retrieval, and dissemination of recordings from body-worn cameras, as well as conducting training related to BWC.
The expansion ensures CSPD complies with state legislation. Broadening the BWC program will propel CSPD towards the goal of increased communication, education, transparency, and accountability which builds community trust and collaborative relationships.
Stakeholders and community groups have expressed their commitment to the body-worn camera program through their letters of support. Those entities include the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association, and the Community Leaders Steering Committee. Further, the citizens of Colorado Springs have been clear in their support and have expressed their desire for CSPD officers to utilize BWC.