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Body Worn Camera Implementation for the City of Independence, Missouri

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $400,000)

The Independence Police Department (IPD) proposes to implement the BWC project, purchasing 200
BWCs and equipping 200 uniformed officers in frontline public safety functions. The purpose is to
establish a comprehensive BWC program, a critical tool to be integrated as part of the City of
Independence’s holistic problem-solving and community-engagement strategy, helping to increase
trust and communication between the IPD and the communities served. The IPD proposes a deliberate
and phased plan to deploy BWC technology and will use the program to enhance the IPD mission and
commitment to community policing. The city is a satellite of Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) and is
Missouri’s fifth largest city. Independence has one of the highest U.S. crime rates compared to all
communities of all sizes, per Neighborhood Scout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, with a crime
rate of 41 per 1,000 residents. More than 91 percent of Missouri communities have a lower crime rate
than Independence.
Working with the TTA provider, the IPD will meet
the seven objectives and provide the required Category 1 application deliverables. Project activities
include: (1) Purchasing 200 BWCs within 90 days of the grant award, including data storage
equipment. (2) Training, including a robust and frequent training schedule and manual, to include the
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office when relevant. (3) Formal adoption of a BWC policy by the
second quarter of the grant period, to include all relevant components of an evidence-based policy. (4)
Enhancement of adjudication, leveraging BWC footage and DEM to help inform and improve
adjudication. (5) Community engagement throughout the grant period, with quarterly community
listening sessions planned and several existing entities including the Committee of Concerned
Citizens, to be utilized in rollout. Additional activities include securing the matching funds ($499,564)
through requests from area foundations and utilizing the city’s 2.25 percent use tax and the recently
passed 3 percent sales tax collected on recreational marijuana purchases with funds allocated for the
needs of the police, fire, dispatch, and emergency preparedness departments.
Expected outcomes include the development of a BWC team, three new staff positions, and deliberate
implementation of the program, ensuring evidence-based and problem-solving approaches while
integrating the BWC technology within IPD’s operational framework. This will enhance mutual trust
between officers and the community and promote organizational efficiency. City residents, guests, and
IPD officers are the intended beneficiaries of the project.

Date Created: September 25, 2023