Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $73,913)
One of the primary responsibilities of any law enforcement agency is the lawful collection, maintenance and utilization of evidence. To further this objective as well foster an environment of both trust and accountability with the residents of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office established a Body-Worn Camera (BWC) program.
Our Office started a pilot body camera program in November of 2013 using a low-cost camera solution. The program demonstrated the feasibility of body worn cameras, but revealed that a low-cost camera solution was not sustainable due to frequent equipment failures. Our Office upgraded all of our BWC in 2016 with higher quality units including Digital Ally and VieVue. Due to the high cost these products, however, many of these BWC units purchased were either used or refurbished. After 5 years of frequent use the sheriff’s office once again needs to update their BWC equipment due to wear and tear, battery issues, and maintenance costs. Additionally, utilizing two different BWC at the sheriff’s office has resulted in problems including properly training personnel on the different camera types, download and storage issues, and the failure to capture needed video footage.
The sheriff’s office also seeks to further expand the program with assistance from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and outfit all patrol supervisors with BWC along with our educational services units at area schools and the University of Southern Indiana. Additionally, the sheriff’s office would like to move to one BWC solution which includes automatic downloads and cloud hosted storage capabilities to fix the problems outlined above. The goal of the 2021 Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office Body-Worn Camera Expansion Program is to update and expand upon our existing Body-Worn Camera Program. This program will include the purchase of seventy-five (75) body worn cameras so they can be issued to all deputies who have frequent contact with the public.