Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $24,431)
PROPOSAL ABSTRACT | Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO)
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), based in Canton, South Dakota, requests funding for a new body worn cameras (BWC) implementation program including hardware, software, training, policy development. The grant award and matching funds will allow LCSO to a) purchase twenty (20) BWCs and ancillary equipment; b) train deputies, IT personnel, and prosecutors, court, and public defense personnel; c) draft and implement procedures and policies; d) collaborate with prosecution professionals; e) attend BJA annual conference to acquire best practices; and f) make interventions of the program through evaluation of technology, processes, policies, outcomes, and outputs. LCSO proposes forming a BWC workgroup consisting of key LCSO personnel, information technology specialist, and the Lincoln County State’s Attorney. Subject matter experts (e.g., policy) will advise the workgroup during implementation and evaluation of the BWC project.
As a result of the proposed project outlined in the grant, the capacity of the LCSO and State’s Attorney’s Office will improve transparency, provide protection from false allegations, possess better ability to perform internal investigations, and have a system for a more robust collection of digital evidence. For example, data including but not limited to BWC will assist in officer training and internal affairs matters. The BWC program will provide command staff better internal reviews of complaints and uses of force. The program will also increase officer and citizen safety if the deletion of digital evidence media reveals poor practices and could be used to implement new strategies or policies. From the prosecutor’s standpoint, the BWCs will corroborate deputies reports and provide a more comprehensive video to adjudicate cases. The program will provide better transparency and increase the communities’ confidence in the LCSO. Overall, the benefits outweigh the costs of implementing and maintaining the BWC program.
By increasing the capacity of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and State’s Attorney’s Office, the BWC program will ultimately benefit the citizens of Lincoln County which is the third largest county and fastest growing county in South Dakota. In addition, the program will benefit those who are traveling on I-29 and highways in southeastern South Dakota.