Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $415,000)
Funding will provide the Keene Police Department (KPD) with 44 Body Worn Camera (BWC) units and equip sixteen of their cruisers with integrated In- Car Video (ICV) systems. It will also provide for associated Wireless Access Points (WAP's) and unlimited cloud data storage to include the software to support the system, which includes redaction capabilities, critical for our Right to Know Requests based on NH statutes. One hundred percent of the designated funds will go towards contract costs for the equipment and support services through the vendor.
This funding will allow the KPD to deploy BWC systems on every officer and in every vehicle they use for police services and thus meet the NH Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency Commissions recommendation that every law enforcement agency in the State of New Hampshire implement a BWC program.
The implementation of the KPD BWC program was supported by community stakeholders, to include the Cheshire County Attorney, the New Hampshire Public Defenders Office, the NH Chapter of the ACLU as well as the citizen's of Keene, NH, which is our service area.
Both stakeholders and citizens agreed during our research that positive outcomes may include:
Enhanced transparency between the department and the public;
Protection of both citizens and Officers from baseless complaints;
Assistance in the investigation of citizen and suspect complaints when they do arise;
Possible improvement of evidence collection and case prosecution by providing improved evidence for investigative and judicial processes;
Creating training tools from encounters
BWC's have the potential to be a positive influence on both citizens and Officers, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse.
The KPD has already conducted a test and evaluation of the product to be deployed, and is ready to move forward with this project as soon as funding is released. During that test and evaluation period, we found that citizens and Officers were receptive of the cameras and that many felt it would contribute to maintaining the trust that KPD already has with the community and increase our transparency as well as strengthen this Department's strong belief in procedural justice.