Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $496,375)
The City of Little Rock (CLR) is seeking funding for the expansion of its body worn camera (BWC) policy and implementation project. The City of Little Rock, with a diverse population of 198,651 and a police force of 584 sworn officers, is ripe for this project. Our community continues to experience strained relations between segments of our community because of police use of force incidents. The Little Rock Mayor and Police Chief have made police-community relations a top priority along with transparency and accountability, and community-oriented policing and BWC’s are key components. For implementation, the City will follow the evidenced-based best practice as set forth in the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Body Worn Camera Tool-kit. CLR will continue to follow the Tool-kit’s Checklist.
This expansion project will deploy approximately 276 cameras to impact Little Rock’s most crime ridden neighborhoods and in those from which the most complaints officers are received. Before deployment all police, prosecutors, public defenders and others will receive proper training.
Due to COVID-19, the City’s multidisciplinary Mayor’s Working Group has had sporadic meetings. However, extensive research was conducted on technology, equipment, data management, policies, and community opinions. The first wave of BWC’s and storage components were implemented in the Fall of 2020.
Led by the Mayor, the City’s Police Department, Information Technology, Human Relations, Purchasing, City Attorney, and Grants Management Division was in full participation of the rollout. Significant external stakeholder partnerships included, and continue to include the Sixth Judicial District Prosecutor, the Judicial District Public Defender’s Office, the University of Arkansas (Little Rock and Fayetteville campuses).