Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $36,069)
The Town of McCandless is requesting funding for body-worn cameras to be used to support a new body-worn camera implementation. The funds will be used to support the following primary activities: the development and implementation of policies and practices for effective program adoption, the purchase, deployment, and maintenance of camera systems and equipment, as well as data storage, access, and privacy considerations.
The Town intends to purchase 30 body-worn cameras. The body-worn cameras would complement the current use of in-car dash cameras by extending video and audio recording to wherever the officer goes. This would allow events to be documented from two different perspectives, as opposed to one.
The service area that would be supported by the new body-worn camera program would encompass the entirety of the Town’s 16.60 square miles and over 28,000 residents who reside in the Town.
The proposed project will greatly benefit the community as a whole. Implementing a strong body-worn camera program will be foundational for establishing transparency in the community, benefitting citizens, Town management and staff, and the police department. The evidentiary value of body-worn cameras will aid in the daily administrative duties and field operations of police officers in a manner that improves criminal justice outcomes, including improvements in officer and citizen safety. Finally, the program will promote professional behavior, and deter illegal and inappropriate behavior by both law enforcement and the public. The body-worn cameras will enhance officers’ duties and promote efficiency by allowing its users to more accurately document events, conditions, and statements made during incidents. It will also enhance the user's ability to prepare reports and present court testimony as well as assist the McCandless Police Department with investigations of alleged misconduct. This in turn protects the department and its members from any civil liability resulting from wrongful accusations of misconduct. Camera recorded data is factual account of an incident and/or allegation. Research across multiple entities has provided evidence that officers wearing body-worn cameras receive less complaints than their counterparts who do not wear them.