Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $100,000)
This grant request will be used to equip Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) sworn officers with Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) and to implement a new BWC program. Despite daily involvement in critical investigations, BCI special agents do not presently have or use BWCs during operations, nor does BCI have a BWC program of its own. BCI currently utilizes no audio/video equipment when performing its enforcement activities. This grant is being sought to increase transparency, support evidentiary effectiveness, and improve the public’s trust in BCI’s law enforcement activities.
The documentation of officer-involved encounters will provide video and audio evidence from field operations, interviews, and interrogations. Video evidence provides an extra layer of evidentiary effectiveness above the use of audio recordings alone, as well as increase public trust in these interactions.
There are currently 104 sworn officers at BCI with 55 of them in the investigation division interacting daily with Ohio residents. This grant application is requesting 50 BWCs for those officers.
The request will achieve the following goal and objectives:
Goal 1: Improve the public’s trust in law enforcement activities, promote accountability and transparency, and support evidentiary effectiveness
Objective 1.1: Decrease the number of citizen complaints against BCI agents in the field by 5%
Objective 1.2: Provide at least one audio/video evidence item per case involving the deployment of a BWC, included in case packages sent for prosecutorial review to jurisdictional authorities