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Implementation of Body Worn Camera Program for the Holly Springs Police Department

Award Information

Award #
15PBJA-21-GG-04442-BWCX
Location
Awardee County
Wake
Congressional District
Status
Open
Funding First Awarded
2022
Total funding (to date)
$138,000

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $138,000)

The Town of Holly Springs, North Carolina is a rapidly growing, diverse community is southwestern Wake County.  The town's remarkable growth can be illustrated using an example from US Census data between 2000 and 2010.  During this timeframe, the population grew to over 24,661 residents, two and a half times that of the reported population in 2000.  This trend is expected to continue with a current estimated population of nearly 40,000 residents and a projected population of over 50,000 by 2023.  With this growth comes the need for the town to be more forward thinking in its community relations, in particular the police department.  Tools that can be utilized to attain the best community relations include community outreach efforts and transparency.  The police department has practiced a proactive community outreach program for the past 15 years.  This includes support of various efforts including, but not limited to, an extensive school resource officer program, community support programs, food drives, security and safety educational efforts, and the use of various social media platforms to promote greater contact and understanding with the community.  Additionally, the town has recently upgraded its web site to include a transparency portal aimed at allowing citizens greater access to town and departmental policies, as well as, town wide information regarding public meetings and projects. In order to augment its transparency efforts, the police department has undertaken a body-worn camera program that will be a key component of our community efforts moving forward.  In June of 2020, police department personnel conducted a presentation for the town council on the potential incorporation of body-worn cameras.  The town leadership agreed in the importance of this tool and authorized funds to begin the implementation of a program beginning in fiscal year 2021.  The town's goals include:

Meet community expectations and modern professional best practices
Strengthen public trust and transparency with the police department
Enhance accuracy in reporting and evidence collection
Increase agency accountability
Improve officer training and evaluation

Solid project management is being utilized to ensure this program is successful.  This includes police department collaboration with other town departments such as finance, purchasing, and information technology.  Various phases and first steps have already been accomplished such as:

Research and evaluation 
Policy and oversight research
Testing and evaluation of available BWC equipment
Implementation of policy and identification of BWC vendor
Purchase of BWC equipment to begin in FY 2022

Expected deliverables of the BWC program include:

Deployment of BWCs to all sworn staff
Up to date and reliable technology infrastructure
Continuous evaluation for a strong policy and training in the use of BWCs
Exceptional and ongoing program evaluation

Careful planning coupled with both community and town staff support will ensure the success of our BWC program. The end result will be a model program and will also assist in fostering a strong community bond through professionalism and transparency.

Date Created: December 17, 2021