Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $80,000)
City of Yuma Police Department
FY2021 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Expansion Program
The City of Yuma Police Department (YPD) provides professional police services to the residents of our diverse City and surrounding areas. YPD’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for the citizens by providing all people with responsive, caring, and professional police service with compassion and concern. The year round population is approximately 94,906. Population in the City of Yuma nearly doubles in the winter months due to the arrival of winter visitors and migrant farm workers. Yuma County holds 207,534 year-round residents.
With technological advancements and recent occurrences nationwide concerning police interactions with the public, further actions of transparency are required in order to protect those served by law enforcement, as well as protect the integrity of those providing the protection. Body-worn cameras provide a sense of accountability and transparency.
Research confirms officers and citizens tend to address one another in a more cooperative manner once both parties are aware the interaction is recorded. Being able to review video footage of officer interactions with the public will help identify use of force applications, officer safety issues, and possible training deficiencies. The video footage will also help either sustain or exonerate officers from complaints and provide evidence for criminal prosecutions.
The approach YPD will pursue to achieve a successful expansion of the Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Program will be to complete the following strategies:
1. Collaborate with the Department of Justice with regards to the BWC Program Scorecard.
2. Continue relationships with multiple community stakeholders addressing technology usage, evidence acquisition, officer safety, privacy concerns and community impact. It will also include digital record access, storage, retention, redaction and expungement.
3. Work internally with officers addressing potential areas of concern with BWC usage.
4. Acquisition and Disbursement of BWC.
Additional stakeholders who have provided support for the BWC implementation program include Yuma County Attorney’s Officer, City of Yuma Prosecutor’s Office, Amberly’s Place, NAACP of Yuma, Yuma Regional Medical Center, Catholic Community Services Safehouse for Battered Women and more.
The anticipated outcomes and major deliverables are: the collection of records from officers utilizing the BWC, training material to be created for the reduction in use of force, reduction in complaints against officers, outreach improvement of citizen interactions with officers, increase successful prosecutions, and maintain trust between YPD and the community served.