Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $800,000)
The Town of Davie is a municipal agency nestled in central Broward County. The Town is home to over 107,000 residents and routinely increases in population due to the influx of students and faculty who attend school at the South Florida Education Center (SFEC). The SFEC is home to Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University (Broward Campus), Broward College, McFatter Technical Center, and the University of Florida's Agricultural Center. On any given day, the population of the Town of Davie can swell to over 175,000 with the student and faculty populations on all the campuses within the SFEC. With such a large service population, the Town of Davie has identified a critical issue facing law enforcement. This issue has created the need for public safety agencies to enhance transparency and accountability and improve police services in an effort to improve interaction with the public. The Town of Davie Police Department (DPD) is seeking BJA funding through the Byrne JAG grant program, for the implementation of a body worn camera program to address this critical need.
The goal of the Town of Davie Police Department's BWC program is to enhance transparency and accountability and improve police services in an effort to improve interactions with the public. The program objectives include implementing a phased approached BWC program, establishing agency policies and procedures, and improving transparency and accountability in encounters between police and the public by deploying BWC's. To reach these goals and objectives the agency is using data and information obtained from a pilot program the department implemented from August - November 2022 consisting of eleven department members, representing each shift and special assignment in the Patrol function. completed with the University of South Florida, as well as various national research reports and best practices, to implement a comprehensive, phased approach strategy, involving numerous stakeholders. The collaborative effort included, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Broward State Attorney's Office, and local leaders. The anticipated outcome is that the implementation of a body-worn camera (BWC) program will assist in reducing complaints of police misconduct; de-escalating conflicts, reducing the instances of response to resistance events, and reducing injuries to both police officers and citizens. In addition, the implementation of a BWC program will increase officer professionalism and advance criminal investigations. This program will be implemented in a phased approach and will be managed by highly competent staff.