Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $3,000,000)
The world of policing and the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) has changed since the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) began its BWC program in 2015. The first seven years of the BWC program were focused on providing funds for cameras, storage, and related equipment. But in the last two years BJA has recognized that the BWC program has to move forward and expand. While its solicitations still allow for the purchase of BWCs for law enforcement and state corrections agencies, new avenues of funding were created for managing digital evidence, improving training through the use of video footage, and funding for prosecutors for demonstration projects.
These shifts mean that TTA must also pivot to meet the emerging needs of new grantees and to look to the future in terms of how footage can be used to improve policing and the criminal justice system. The basic TTA model that was created in 2015 must be transformed to support the new paradigm. An invigorated framework for TTA is needed to bring fresh ideas to the BWC program while supporting the fundamental needs of grantees.
Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS), Michigan State University (JSS), Justice & Health Analytics (JHA), and researchers, data scientists and practitioners propose new ways to engage in TTA for agencies funded through BJA’s grant program. The consortium recognizes that basic support is needed for grantees who are in the early stages of BWC implementation and will provide that guidance. Policy building, webinars, newsletters, working group sessions, and easy-to digest research summaries will be delivered .
More importantly, however, the consortium is positioned to assist BJA and grantees in looking to the future. The JSS team has experts in digital evidence management (DEM) and artificial intelligence (AI) and has research-practitioners who have know-how to ingest BWC footage into training on de-escalation, procedural justice, and police legitimacy. The JSS indirect rate of 10% and its insistence that its partners keep their rates lower than usual are the difference makers in doing more for the BWCPIP TTA program.
The consortium will follow four principles as it works collaboratively with BJA and criminal justice agencies: 1) focus on the customer, 2) make things easy-to-use, 3) leverage technology, and 4) use data to guide decisions and for forecasting. Through these principles the team will provide direct TTA to grantees and provide data-driven and research-based TTA to BJA, funded agencies, and stakeholders interested in BWCs across the country.