Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $176,000)
The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) is requesting funding through the USDOJ BWC-PIP. The NMBPD is a full-service law enforcement agency with 88 sworn officers who provide 24-hour police service to 126,007 citizens. The total grant request for this project is $352,000, which includes the BWCs. The federal request is $176,000. The county will provide the required 50% match of $176,000.
FCSO is unable to properly record public interactions and store data vital to maintaining evidence, transparency to the public, and training. There have been some incidents where BWC would have been helpful in seeing exactly what happened. In the next county over, a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed by a police officer. The state is still investigating, and the immediate and surrounding communities are dealing with the repercussions. There is no body cam footage available to determine and show the public if this shooting was justified or not.
By implementing a BWC program, the FCSO hopes to develop a transparent relationship with the community and provide proper video evidence to prosecutors to help reduce crime. The goals of this program are to increase improve officer and citizen safety, increase successful prosecutions, improve training, and decrease community conflict.
To implement the BWC Program, the department will hold community meetings and meet with community stakeholders to introduce the plans of the FCSO to implement a BWC project, gauge the acceptance of the project, and to gather information on the public’s expectations. Once this is complete, the department, along with stakeholders will develop policies and procedures for the use of the cameras and digital media evidence. Personnel will then receive training, the cameras will be purchased and deployed, and the department will assess progress.
The FCSO is committed to successful implementation of the BWC PIP. The project is fully supported by the Faulkner County DA. The expected outcome of this project is to improve police services, community relations and prosecutions. The department has a clear understanding of what it will take to implement a successful BWC PIP and will ensure that the comprehensive approach to community input, policy development, training, implementation, and review described in this proposal is followed.