Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $60,000)
The City of Erie, PA will implement an expansion of BWCs for police divisions with 30 non-patrol officers (inspectors, detectives) who have never had BWCs. In 2019, the Erie Police Department began the process of starting a BWC program for patrol officers, which has been extremely successful for law enforcement, the justice system, and well-received by the community. Since 2019, crime and incidents have increased substantially, where officers who do not have cameras can benefit from an expansion into those divisions. From 2019 to 2021, shots fired incidents skyrocketed from 134 to 311. Shots fired in 2022 have continued to show a disturbing trend, where our Crime/Investigation Divisions are still working through the substantial rise in gun-related incidents. During 2021 in our jurisdiction, 72 people were shot vs. 42 in 2019. The number of stolen firearms has jumped by over 38% in the last three years. Inspectors and Detectives need BWCs now more than ever as they work on these cases, such as interviews in the field. Providing these officers BWCs will help with documentation, evidence collection, aid the justice system, promote officer safety, and adds to the Police Department’s goals for transparency.