Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $929,017)
The New York City Department of Homeless Services Police (DHSPD) is submitting a request for Category 5: Using BWC footage to develop an evidence-based training curriculum, supplement their quality/integrity control program, and implement best practices of Constitutional Policing. The footage that is recorded through the current DHSPD BWC program is useful only when DHSPD can easily access and disseminate the information. The current internal database system requires downloading BWC footage onto a zip drive and physically delivering the drive when footage is requested for internal review or requested by district attorneys and other law enforcement agencies. DHSPD is in need of a web-based database system that can safely and properly catalogue, retrieve, and share the data from the current BWC program – with searchable features within the new system to track and troubleshoot issues in the field in real time. The web-based database system DHS Police is trying to purchase will tie to all other systems within the agency’s information systems infrastructure.
The new system will help DHSPD to meet critical needs, including tracking and addressing in real time which officers are wearing their BWCs and wearing them properly; addressing incidents in real time and efficiently sharing data as requested; identifying and utilizing clips of the footage to create enhanced officer training modules (beyond what we currently offer) for DHS Police officers as well as other law enforcement agencies; and sharing best practices in officer training with strategies that are unique to working with homeless shelter population – a group with high self reported rates of mental illness and substance abuse. In recent years, there has been a great deal of pressure on law enforcement to use different tactics in dealing with this high-need population. BWCs play a major role in moving law enforcement agencies in this direction. DHSPD is well positioned as an expert at administering these tactics, and the BWC program is vital in reinforcing and sharing with other agencies these tactics and practices.