Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $100,000)
The Village of Rockville Centre, New York, has a diverse population of 24,550 residents. Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray, and Commissioner of Police James Vafeades, have made improvement of police-community relations a top priority through an aggressive community-oriented policing program, of which our body-worn camera initiative is a key component. There is a broad-based community support for this initiative, as evidenced by the development of our recent Police Reform plan. The Village has already taken significant steps to plan for a body-worn camera program, including extensive research on equipment, data management, policies, and community involvement. The villages goals are:
Deploy body worn cameras to officers who regularly interact with the public in enforcement capabilities.
Improve high-quality public service, and promote the perceived legitimacy, sense of fairness, and procedural justice the community has about the Rockville Centre Police Department.
Improve management of digital multimedia evidence to ensure identification, retention, accessibility relevant to enforcement activities, and the conduct of Rockville Centre Police officers.
Incorporate the body-worn camera program into Rockville Centre Police Department's policy and training development.
Implement strong policies to ensure proper incredible use of body worn cameras.
Establish a continuing body-worn camera program that remains technologically current and financially sustainable.
The Rockville Centre Police Department is utilizing sound project management principles and a phased-in approach that has proven successful in implementing several major village initiatives.
The Rockville Centre Police Department will effectively utilize partnerships to ensure success. This includes critical departments within the Village representing information technology, budget, and law. It also includes external partnerships with the District Attorney's Office, Public Defender’s Office, and other law enforcement agencies. Most significantly, it includes a strong partnership with the community, as represented by a variety of community and neighborhood organizations.
The deliverables for Rockville Centre Police Department's body-worn camera program include deployment of body-worn cameras to Rockville Centre Police Officers, a current and reliable digital technology infrastructure, a strong policy and in ongoing training program for body-worn camera use, and an intensive an independent program evaluation.
Successful implementation of the body-worn camera program will result in an excellent pilot program that can be emulated by other jurisdictions. It will also produce positive outcomes for the Village, including the project goals noted above. Rockville Centre Police Department's responsiveness to the community in making this program a reality will enhance our improving police-community partnership as we move forward.