Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $140,000)
The City of Leesburg, Florida has a diverse population, approximately 24,760 residents, over a service area of approximately 46 square miles. The Leesburg Police Department (LPD) has a long-time commitment to Community Oriented Policing, supported by intelligence and evidence-based strategies, of which Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) can be a key component. There is community and governmental support for implementation of a new, comprehensive BWC program for the department, who has already taken significant steps to making the BWC program a reality.
Deployment of BWC’s to LPD sworn members.
A current, reliable digital technology infrastructure.
A strong policy and ongoing training program for BWC use.
Program evaluation to improve effectiveness of the BWC program.
Objectives for the BWC Program, in conjunction with the solicitation objectives, include:
Deploy of BWC’s to all sworn members who regularly interact with the public in enforcement and investigative activities.
Improve high quality public service and promote the perceived legitimacy, sense of fairness and procedural justice the community has about LPD.
Improve management of digital evidence media (DEM), to ensure identification, retention, accessibility of DEM that is relevant to enforcement activities, investigative activities and conduct of LPD sworn members.
Incorporate the BWC Program into LPD’s policy and training development.
Implement strong policies to ensure proper and credible use of BWC’s.
Establish a continuing BWC program that remains technologically current and financially sustainable.
Monthly reporting to the selected training and technical assistance (TTA) provider.
A comprehensive BWC policy.
Procurement of BWC equipment that is compliant with federal and local guidelines.
An exit conference and report for the TTA provider.
Deployment of the BWC’s.
LPD will utilize management principles and a phased-in approach for the BWC program, which has proven successful in other jurisdictions. LPD will utilize partnerships with other city departments, the State Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office and community representation to ensure success of the program. Successful implementation will result in an excellent, broad-scale program that can be emulated by other jurisdictions. The program will also promote improvements in criminal justice outcomes, such as officer safety and training, citizen safety, successful prosecution of criminal cases, agency transparency and legitimacy, and personnel accountability. Through improvements in criminal justice outcomes, this project will benefit all stakeholders, including members of LPD and all citizens of Leesburg. Moreover, LPD’s responsiveness to making this new program a reality will improve our police-community relationships as we move forward.