Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $429,979)
The Lowell Police Department (LPD) is requesting $429,979.04 under Category 1: Site-based Awards to Law Enforcement Agencies of the FY 2022 Body-worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies (BWCPIP-LEA). These funds will be used to expand existing body-worn camera (BWC) program efforts in Lowell, MA. The City of Lowell is located 30 miles north of Boston and has a population of approximately 115,500 people. Additionally, the LPD consists of 231 sworn officers who are responsible for patrolling 14.5 square miles.
The goal of the LPD’s BWCPIP-LEA project is to provide 215 patrol officers and supervisors with a body-worn camera. Officers participating in this program will be required to review the department’s BWC policy, attend trainings, and wear their assigned camera during each shift as outlined in the department’s policy. Additionally, the department will assign a sworn officer to manage the BWC implementation process and hire a full-time Digital Evidence Specialist to manage public records requests.
The deliverables for the LPD’s BWC Program include:
Deployment of BWCs to 215 police officers;
Documentation of comprehensive BWC policy;
Increased officer accountability; and
Increased communication between department and community stakeholders.
The Lowell Police Department, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office (MDAO), and residents of Lowell will greatly benefit from this BWC program. Officers utilizing this technology will have the ability to record evidence, such as crime scenes and statements from victims and bystanders, which will complement police reports. BWCs will also increase officer safety by alerting supervisors when officers are in need of assistance. Prosecutors in the MDAO will benefit from this program by having the ability to request digital media evidence for their cases. Lastly, the LPD will be able to disseminate footage of critical incidents when necessary, which will increase transparency between the department and community it serves.