Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $199,642)
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in Murfreesboro, TN, is proposing to implement a Body Worn Camera (BWC) pilot program to assist and support the uniformed patrol division. Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) currently employs 480 personnel. 273 of those personnel are certified law enforcement officers. RCSO knows that BWC’s are an increasingly common and much needed tool for law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Rutherford County’s uniformed patrol division currently has approximately 100 certified law enforcement officers, which patrol approximately 624 square miles and serve approximately 352,000 people. The RCSO uniformed patrol division has collectively asked for BWC’s due to the changing environment in today’s law enforcement.
The BWC pilot program will be utilized for police oversight, accountability, training and transparency, which will build continued trust between our law enforcement officers and the community we serve. RCSO proposes to purchase 100 BWC’s to support and assist the uniformed patrol division. The overall project is projected to cost $399,283 with $199,642 in federal funding and $199,642 in matching. Since Rutherford County is such a large area to patrol, officers are often confronted with situations or incidents with little or no assistance. The implementation of a BWC pilot program would improve their overall safety, increase evidence quality, reduce civilian complaints, reduce use of force incidents, and reduce department liability as a whole.
The implementation of a BWC pilot program for the RCSO will be a planned and phased approach. Once the uniformed patrol division is equipped with BWC’s, the goal of the RCSO is to equip all 273 sworn officers with BWC’s over the next three years. RCSO conducted a 30-day trial period with three (3) different BWC vendors. This trial period assisted the agency with determining costs, setting up appropriate policies and oversight; determining tracking mechanisms and training needs of officers and administrators; and approving practices and deployment of a BWC program.
RCSO takes pride in having an overall good reputation as being a professional, community oriented and well-trained agency. The implementation of a BWC pilot program will improve the community relationship by providing an overall better service, oversight, and transparency to the public. The BWC funded pilot program will also provide the RCSO uniformed patrol division with improved officer safety, an increase in evidence quality, reduced liability, better training, and testimony in court. The BWC pilot program will assist and compliment officers in the overall performance of their duties.