Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $904,610)
As community policing moves to the forefront of strategic policing, law enforcement agencies across the Unites States are turning to technology, including the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs), to enhance efforts for closing the gap between the public and law enforcement. The Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is likewise implementing a new BWC program to address the need for increased transparency and public trust and to improve police-community relations.
The mission of the MTPD is to protect WMATA patrons, personnel, transit facilities, and revenue by providing law enforcement and public safety services. MTPD’s jurisdiction spans the National Capital Region (NCR) where WMATA’s multi-modal services cover 1,500 square miles across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, serving a socioeconomically, racially, and ethnically diverse population of around 4 million.
MTPD strongly hopes that the implementation of a new BWC program will decrease negative behavior, such as crime, and provide an appropriate and transparent mechanism for accountability, while increasing and sustaining positive police-community relations across the NCR. WMATA is requesting $910,000, which would allow MTPD to outfit approximately 455 sworn personnel (officers, sergeants and lieutenants) with BWCs as part of this initiative. WMATA is aggressively and simultaneously working on the procurement, policy drafting, training curriculum to rollout this new BWC program.