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Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office Body-worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $948,103)

This project serves Montgomery County (MC), Maryland, located within the Washington-Arlington- Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area. With a population over 1 million, it is the most populous
county in Maryland and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse counties in the U.S. This
project will be performed by the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office (MCSAO), which employs 150 staff, including 80 prosecutors collectively handling over 30,000 cases per year.
MC has been a leader in implementing BWCs, being among the first in the state to employ them in 2015. Since then, MCSAO has seen a significant rise in the use of BWCs and data-producing
technologies, increasing the volume of discovery exponentially. As a result, MCSAO expanded its
Discovery Unit (DU) in 2016. Since then, the precipitous expansion of data has vastly increased
workloads of DU staff and prosecutors tasked with sifting through enormous amounts of digital
evidence. This curtails the maximization of technology as needs for more manpower increase.
Currently every officer in MC is issued a BWC. MCSAO supports 10 local law enforcement agencies, having processed 29,074 BWC and dash-cam videos in 2022. Additionally, MCSAO processes a plethora of other data, including 911/jail calls, cell phone and social media data, and surveillance footage. This project will improve the MCSAO’s ability to process, interpret, and utilize digital evidence. It funds 4 full-time Forensic Digital Evidence Technicians responsible for reviewing and performing substantive analysis of digital data. The Technicians will query digital databases, download/upload and tag digital data, shield privacy violations, provide redactions/truncations as required by the law, and assist in evidence preparation for prosecution. Grant funds will support personnel, IT equipment and licenses. This program will accelerate and enhance BWC and digital evidence production, processing, and data interpretation, increasing prosecutorial, defense, and judicial confidence in the lawful disclosure of digital evidence. The program will promote improvements in the effective use of digital evidence, prosecutorial decision-making, and case outcomes. In collaboration with the TTA provider, it will contribute to the overall enhancement and best practices of digital evidence by providing information on digital data use to improve prosecutorial outcomes. The project will benefit prosecutors, defense, law enforcement, and the community at large by reducing gaps in services and fostering collaboration among partner agencies. By creating a more efficient, well-staffed system for processing digital evidence, this project will result in the comprehensive utilization of technological innovation promoting accountability and justice.

Date Created: September 25, 2023