Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $34,000)
The mission for every member of the Madeira Police Department is to seek and find ways affirmatively to promote, preserve and deliver a feeling of security, safety, and quality services to all members of the community and all persons passing through the community. Our department strongly believes enhancements in technology can offer tools to better deliver on its mission. Properly utilized body-worn cameras (BWC’s) further the mission of the department by their use in the collection of evidence, the accurate documentation of interactions, and through the transparent investigation of citizen complaints.
The City of Madeira is a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio of over 9,000 residents, and is often voted among the best places to live regionally and nationally. Our community demands quality services be delivered, and this includes documenting interactions with all persons our officers are called to serve throughout their shift. In 2017 to better exceed this demand our department provided our uniformed officers with BWC's for use during patrol shifts. The transparency offered by BWC’s has become what our community expects when they encounter an officer. No matter the outcome of each interaction our community finds comfort in knowing BWC video can be fairly reviewed to ensure quality police services were delivered.
Our department purchased BWC technology that found limitations in the hardware and software components. These BWC’s even when properly utilized can be prone to malfunction that can include video loss. The software that supports the BWC’s can make it difficult to share video with prosecutors and fulfilling public records requests. The limitation of the software has been the inability to grant prosecutors direct access to department video. A software that allows direct access to department video is far more transparent. Furthermore, limitations in the video redaction portion of the software can cause delay in the timely release of video following an incident of great public concern. Our BWC hardware and software is simply aging and is in need of replacement.
Funds will be used to purchase BWC hardware and software to replace an aging system that is more in line with the system utilized by the two largest departments in our county. This will allow direct access by prosecutors enhancing transparency. It will create more timely record releases and provide officers a more reliable product in the field to leverage digital evidence to improve adjudication of cases and better document interactions with the community.