Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (BCPO) proposes an expansion to its existing body-worn camera (BWC) efforts in Bergen County, New Jersey, through the creation of a digital evidence repository. This repository would unify the storage of digital evidence by County and municipal law enforcement agencies, which currently store their digital evidence through a variety of different methods. This system has grown unwieldy, creating great need for the streamlining of interagency evidence exchange. In addition to meeting this need, the proposed repository would be utilized by a planned system through which members of the public would be able to request access to redacted BWC footage. The current process to request BWC footage from agencies within Bergen County can take up to three weeks, as agencies need to burn BWC footage onto CDs. The simplification of this process will improve its efficiency, as well as relations between local law enforcement and the public. Funding from the US DOJ BJA Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies grant program would enable the BCPO to complete these proposed projects, which will dramatically improve the movement of digital evidence both between agencies and to the public when appropriate.