Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program: Introduction to Training and Technical Assistance
During this webinar, the speakers provided an overview of the BWC Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) initiative, introduced the support team, highlighted the TTA process, and more.
BJA Body Worn Camera Training & Technical Assistance
Welcome Webinar Script
Chip Coldren: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the introductory webinar on the new Bureau of Justice Assistance Body-Worn Camera Technical Assistance Program. My name is Chip Coldren. I'm the Managing Director of Justice Programs at the CNA Institute for Public Research. I'll be working with the Bureau of Justice Assistance and along with Arizona State University and Justice and Security Strategies to develop and deliver training and technical assistance on a variety of aspects and challenges regarding body-worn camera over the next few years.
Thanks very much for participating in WebEx today. I believe this will the beginning of a very productive working relationship. Let me turn this over to Mike Roosa from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for a few minutes for some introductory remarks. Mike?
Michael Roosa: Great. Thank you, Chip. I appreciate it. Good afternoon. We really appreciate – good morning for some of you. I imagine this is a nationwide call. We really appreciate you taking the time in attending and we will be recording much more details what we're doing in a minute for that.
BJA is so excited to have this project moving forward. We're really happy that we were able to expand it to the 73 agencies rather than just the 50 we have originally thought. We feel that not only that the peer review is doing a great job of selecting; but on our review, we will we have some very strong application and very strong rewards and we look forward to working with you.
I do just want lay out a little bit of information about what we're going to be doing, how fast things will be moving. We do need to do some high-level setting on expectations. Right now, what is happening is BJA is reaching out to few agencies trying to adjust few budgets, trying to make sure that special conditions and some information is being collected at around the grant process and program aspects. At the same time, we provide your applications to
CNA, the TTA provider, who will be directly responsible for a lot of the efforts here, to review and correlate your applications, to punch together areas you identified as maybe needing assistance or areas u identified you're working or maybe just some ideas at how to move forward.
That research or review with the subject matter experts involved is expected to take too in November, maybe another two or three weeks. And after that, you should hear an onslaught of information coming from us, questions, answers, all sorts of components. So I know there’s a lot of excitement you’ll get forward. We had a few request to start providing (trends) already. But I just want to lay one very, very clear aspect out, this is not BJA proving body-worn camera policies so we can issue grants. Your policy represents your agency and that’s critically important to your agency, you community and how it works in recognizing the difference between agencies and difference between state and state laws. BJA recognizes we can't do that. We can't take a policy here.
But as the solicitations stated we are basing this program on the CoPs implementation guide. If you've seen, if you've been to, which I hope you have, to the body-worn camera toolkit, the checklist is a good example of the CoPs implementation guide as it directs how we created that. That’s more along the lines of what we’ll be evaluating. How did you did you do outreach? How – was the policy developed rather than what policy was developed. So we're looking forward to going through the steps, and as we read your applications through in more detail, we’ll figure that that’s the way to do these measurements. We'll be providing that feedback to you and making sure we get there.
Other than that, we're just excited to move forward. At the end of this call or towards the end of this call, there will be questions and answers, and we'll get into that. But we also have a short period where we'll talk about the performance management metrics. It’s really the grant recording method. So if you have some grant recorder, record persons available to get on the call, that would be great to have a little time to get on if you are that person, that’s great, otherwise you're going to hearing about the TTA provider, the training and technical assistance provider, CNA and their subject matter experts they brought to the table. So again, we brought a great team together.
I really hope you'll enjoy the presentation and I'm going to turn it back over to Chip.
Chip Coldren: Good. Excellent. Mike, thank you very much.
So the purpose of today’s webinar is truly introductory. We do not plan to deliver a lot of technical information or a lot of substantial information about the toolkit or the technical assistance that we're going to provide you. But we want to introduce you to the team and the subject matter experts that have been pulled together and the beginnings of a process for accessing these resources. And as Mike said, we do have some time towards the end for some questions and answers, and in fact, we received several questions from the webinar registration that we'll address too in a short while. So next slide please.
As Mike said, this webinar is recorded, please be mindful of that. The primary reason for doing this is that there are a number of people who could not join the webinar today so it will be available on the newly created Web site for them to review as well as other webinars that we offer, but of course, it’s been a couple of years. You will also receive soon after this webinar an evaluate just to touch base with you and see how you're feeling about things, if the webinar was helpful to, and probably equally as important to start to get your ideas about webinar topics and other types of technical assistance that might be helpful to you. So please pay attention to that one as it comes along.
There is also a – I'm sure you can see there’s a chart room available. So if you begin to think of questions or comments as this webinar goes along, please feel free to use that chat room to let us know what your thoughts or questions are and as we get towards the end, we'll pay attention to those questions as well.
Now in terms of specific topics for today’s webinar, we're going briefly touch on the purpose and goals of this initiative, as I said, introduce you to some of our team members and some introductory words about the technical assistance process and the types of technical assistance resources that we're envisioning for this project, a brief word on some upcoming events. As Michael said, we'll talk a little bit about how you work with the performance measurement tool and then open it up for questions and answers. So again, thanks for participation.
So what I want to say about this training and technical assistance program is that it is not designed to impose a lot of demands and a lot of interruptions on your work. We don't want to be in your business where we don't need to be. The main reason for providing these technical assistance resources is clear and simple, to give your projects the greatest chance for success. Success is important for several reasons, not only because these are projects that you have developed and you are invested in, but the progress and the success and the lessons learned for projects going to benefit the law enforcement community in general.
And I know the BJA takes this very seriously. They have devoted significant resources in this technical assistance initiative to make sure that the lessons learned are documented and published widely throughout the field. So please don't think of this as just something that you have to be concerned about for your benefit because the benefits you realize are going to be translated to your brothers and sisters in law enforcement around the country.
Clearly, it is our aim through this technical assistance to deliver the most responsive and the most useful technical assistance that you could imagine in a very timely fashion. You’ll hear a little bit that we have started to think about some kind of technical assistance that we may provide, but I think the generation of technical assistance, ideas and topics and resources will come as much from the site as it comes from BJA and our subject matter experts. And so we have built up a process to make sure that happens and I'll talk about it a few minutes.
And we like to think about this as a community of practice. There’s as much learning that comes from the (PIP sites), talking to each other and interacting each other and learning from other as there is to have our subject matter experts working with you. So please think of it that way that whatever questions you have, whatever lessons you learned, whatever documentation you can provide to us will help us all learn about how to make the most effective use of this new technology. Next slide please.
OK, Mike, back to you for a few minutes.
Michael Roosa: Great. Thank you very much. So programmatically, some of the real keys around special commissions are very specific to the agencies that have applied. There are some – again, there’s a – for example, a 10 percent drawdown availability for reimbursement of planning components as part of the special conditions, part of that ability.
So as you do the beginnings of your work on that, whether it’s Federal reimbursement, that’s certainly available, so we hope we could be there for you to help out with that planning as well as reaching out for BJA and the TTA to help with that process.
Obviously, this is more about policy than it is necessarily implementation or development in ensuring success. But we also recognize that some of you have already implemented and already moving forward on expanding this with you know maybe some minor observations to you policy. So programmatically, I'm not going to beat that down at this point. We have a lot of outreach. We have a very strong program staff. We've actually been assigned to directly assist which is unusual for a program. So mostly likely we'll hear from some – one of those too and we'll be reaching out more to help. We'll get into the programmatic. Maybe we'll plan on many webinars and many information but very specific for this one as an introduction.
I do want to introduce the BJA staff that really doing the work here. Our boss, Kristen Mahoney, works for Denise – excuse me – Denise O’Donnell who’s the Director of BJA. Kristen Mahoney is the Head of Policy Office where this solicitation came from. She is the workforce when it comes to doing this kind, getting help out to local agencies. She comes from a law enforcement background as one officer but certainly working administration for a long time so she appreciates the difficult at the local and state level.
Patrick McCreary is my direct supervisor. Feel free to reach out to him particularly if I screw up, but feel free. Patrick is a great guy. He’s a former trooper out of Indiana and certainly provide a great over – keeps us safe looking forward and can help out with the direction.
Myself, Michael Roosa, I'm just a Senior Policy Advisor, responsible for this. I did actually write the solicitation. So if you're looking for interpretations of the solicitations and programs, please feel free. My cell phone is available. I'm here for you guys. Please feel free to call me, e-mail, text me, however it is. Unless it’s my kid’s birthday, I will be there for you. Maybe even then, we'll figure out.
I do want to introduce Carmen Facciolo as well. Carmen is another Policy Advisor with this group again. This has been an unusual team. We've been able to bring a lot of resources, recognizing the importance here and Carmen is a great resource particularly in the doing the location sides as we discussed those, so again, do feel free.
(Steven Kinder), the program’s person assigned to this. You probably have already heard from him. He’s been the one probably notifying you to – actually have a word of things that need to happen.
PMT, we'll be hearing from, which the performance management tracking and I know PMT does stand for that, but Daniel Pryce is our lead on that. He’ll be explaining more about what the grant metrics in this program are as we get down you'll meet him.
Definitely, I want to introduce Todd Maxwell. He’s the contractor for BJA. He has been a significant brain on the operation. He is responsible for the majority of the content collected from you and from other agencies around you for the body-worn camera toolkit, definitely a valuable resource for this, so we look forward to helping out.
Although the last one is another great program’s person who is Steven’s (tech) team. So again, we are ready to help you out.
And Suzette McLeod, certainly I would like to recognize her for the work on the toolkit as well as the others. She’s actually been assigned to some other work also so we see less of her, but if we need help, she’s the program management expert and can certainly help us work out the program management problems any time that went on.
So again, we look forward to working with you. There is a large team at BJA. We're really excited to work with you and beyond that. I'll turn it back over to Chip.
Chip Coldren: Great. Thanks again, Michael. And it’s absolutely true that BJA has devoted substantial resources to this effort. I hope you understand by the time we're done with this webinar today how many resources there are, and I think you should just set yourself a challenge to ask us through as many things until you get the answer “no,” which is probably be a very rare occurrence. But there are many individuals and many other types of resources that are available, as I said, to make sure that you have that chance for success. So I'm going to challenge to do that, to ask us, and ask us, and ask us until we either run out of resources or exhaust the expertise in this country.
Now I’d like to spend a minute to introduce the technical assistance and training team on our side. As I said, I'm Chip Coldren, from CNA. I'm technically the Director of this project. I work very close in end with Denise Rodriguez who is our Project Manager. I have been for the past six years with BJA providing technical assistance and training through the Smart Policing initiative which I between that many of you are aware of. And for the past couple of years, we've also been technical assistance and training provider with the Violence Reduction Network out of BJA. So we have the substantial experience, a lot of experience working directly with law enforcement agencies on the operational and administrative side and with researchers on these types of projects.
Denise and I are both research partners on what’s probably the largest trend of experiment with body-worn cameras in this country. We're just winding down the data collection in Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. So we have learned an awful lot over the past two years about the implementation and the impacts of body-worn cameras. We have another team member with us Dan Zehnder from Las Vegas, so you'll hear from him in a short while. So that’s me. I’d like you to introduce yourself for a minute of two please.
Denise Rodriguez: Yup. Thanks, Chip. So I've been CNA for over seven years, worked on a number of projects related to use of force, officer-involved shootings, police accountability, and as Chip mentioned, I'm part of the team that’s doing the study on body-worn cameras on Las Vegas. I've also worked on the Violence Reduction Network and the Smart Policing initiative TTA projects too.
Chip Coldren: Thank you. Dr. Michael White, from Arizona State, can you say a few words?
Michael White: Sure, Chip. Thanks. My name is Michael White and I'm the Co-Director of Training and Technical Assistance for this project. I'm a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. I've been with working with law enforcement agencies for the past 15 years on a range of issues including use of force and technology issues. I am not your typical ivory tower professor.
My approach when I work with agencies is very collaborative and it’s defined by direct engagement. I've been working with the folks at CNA on Smart Policing initiative since 2009. And more recently, more work has focused on body-worn cameras. I wrote the reports in 2014 for the Department of Justice that laid down on the table all the key issues to consider as well as examining the empirical research on those issues called the assessing the evidence report.
And more recently, I am one of the primary authors of the body-worn camera toolkit. The toolkit, the creation of that began back in February. BJA hosted an expert panel where they brought about a hundred experts together at White House to brainstorm issues, and myself and Dr. Charles Katz, co-facilitated that meeting. And then, based on that, I spent the next several months creating the content and working very closely with BJA to get the toolkit live.
It went live in May. So that’s really what I've been working on. Also, I've been involved on the research side obviously given my background. I'm involved in randomized-controlled trials studying with the implementation of body-worn cameras in Spokane, Washington and Tempe, Arizona. So I really look forward to working with all of you over the next couple of years. Thanks, Chip.
Chip Coldren: Good. Thank you very much. Dr. Katz could not be with us today but he’s also a principal member of the ASU team. And I think we have Shellie Solomon on the line from JSS. Shellie, can you just say a few words?
Shellie Solomon: So my name is Shellie Solomon. I am the CEO of Justice and Security Strategies. We are a research consulting firm that works with law enforcement. We work with about – over 50 agencies across the country ranging in different sizes. In fact, Dr. Uchida can't be with us today he’s on an airplane flying back from a research partner for Smart Policing in Cambridge.
We currently are the research partners for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and also for the Los Angeles Police Department as well. And in that role, we are working on a study with the National Institute of Justice, for the National Institute of Justice that looks at the role of the body-worn cameras in the LAPD and we're working extensively with them as they work through the policy and the actual technological implementation
In terms of our TA provision, we tend to work very closely with department with what they need, and then to try to work with them to be strategic about the solution. So we are excited about this project and we look forward to working with all of you.
Chip Coldren: Good. Thank you very much, Shellie. Let's go to the next slide please. Very well. So I want to just talk for a few minutes about how we're (envisioning) the structure and the technical assistance process. So as Mike said earlier, right now, we're in a process of reading each of the 73 proposals that were funded by BJA. And as a result of that review, we will you know put out collective heads together and make some decisions about how to organize these resources.
We envisioned that we will have teams of subject matter experts and analyststhat will be assigned to groups of grantees. Maybe they’ll be grouped by size, maybe they’ll be grouped by geography, maybe they’ll be grouped by the types of assistance that seems most viable for this size. So we haven’t decided what the grouping category will be, but by mid November we'll have a good sense of how we want to create these groups and there’ll be teams of subject matter experts and analysts assigned to each group.
And I think the way to think about these subject matter experts is like a conduit because in addition to the few that are listed on the slide here, we probably have 15 or 20 others around the country who have experience in all different areas regarding cameras, whether it’s community concerns or (advocacy) issues or storage issues, other technical issues, collaboration issues, vendor selection. We have probably some of the best and brightest around the country that have been doing this for the past several years and have direct experience in all these areas.
So as the middle of November goes around and our subject matter experts start to contact you and establish a relationship, they’ll probably start by engaging you in some routine conversations maybe on a monthly basis just to check in and see how things are going, if any assistance has been delivered, to check in and make sure that you got what you needed, and if there are any needs that are unmet. But as you work with them, your relationship will develop and you'll start hopefully to have some conversations about what other types of assistance would be helpful and what else does BJA needs to do to make sure this program is a success. So you'll start to hear from us in another month or so. As Mike said, just consider the people that contact you as your advocates and your conduit to a much broader group of subject matter experts.
Right now – so this list is just an example of the types of people that we have onboard. So Dan Zehnder is the – he’s the person in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department who has stood up their entire video camera resource and expertise. Bill Sousa has been one of our research partners at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, working directly with Dan in Police Department. Mike Kurtenbach is the Assistance Chief in Phoenix, Arizona.
Phoenix just completed a very interesting evaluate of body-worn cameras that Mike White and Charles Katz were involved with, and so he has graciously lent his expertise to us as the person on the law enforcement side and he can probably be very helpful.
Scott Decker is also a professor from Arizona State University who has been involved in providing technical assistance to police agencies probably for the last 25 years in one way or another. Charles Stephenson is I would call something of a technological generalist. He works for the NIJ Technology Division for about seven or eight years. He’s now subject matter expert with CNA and he has experience with cameras and a number of other technologies.
Michael Scott from Arizona State University is the Director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. He also has a set of skills and expertise that we think will be very helpful to our grantees. Vicki Hill is a – I think she’s a Chief Prosecutor in Phoenix now. She works with Phoenix on implementation and so she will be available to help on the prosecution and litigation side. As well as Kris Hamann who is currently a Fellow at BJA working at prosecution issues.
So that’s just an example. Very soon we will have out to you a list of the subject matter experts and their areas of expertise so you can make more informed decisions about who you think might be helpful. And I'm just going to encourage you, when your team calls you, when your subject matter experts and analysts team calls you for this initial conversation, please listen to them and please engage with them, and that will start a whole series of technical assistance processes for you. OK?
So as I said, we're reviewing all the site proposals now and that will help inform our initial ideas about the types of technical assistance we're going to be providing. And again, I will just encourage you to be very proactive in this. If what we're providing doesn’t look right and doesn’t feel right, talk to us. Let us know what you need. Let us know what you suggestions you have.
You'll find that we’ll be very receptive. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say we're working on that, we'll probably say “yes” and I want you to challenge us to say “no.”
And one of the first things that will happen is as you submit your policies for review, we will be involve in that review process with BJA and we always stress, as Mike did earlier, that the review has more to do with the policy development approach and the stakeholders’ invoices that were part of that approach, not necessarily a review of what the policy directs your offices and your agencies to do because that’s your purview in your business.
I think initially it will be very easy to access technical assistance and we'll probably be always easy to access the TA. As you can see below, we have an e-mail address set up, [email protected]. That is active and so if you start to have ideas, start to have request, I encourage you to use that. I'll go over range of technical assistance options in a few minutes. We prefer that the requests come through CNA so we have a single point of entry for the request and once it comes to us, then we will engage with BJA, and ASU, and JSS and make a determination of which team and which SMEs are the most appropriate to respond to your request. So please just you know pay attention to that.
And for starters, you should all be familiar with the BJA toolkit, and if you're not, I encourage you to get familiar with that because that’s going to be the early and probably a consistent driver of the types of technical assistance that we develop and deliver to you, not that we wouldn't develop new things or new suggestions but that’s at least the starting point. So if you're thinking about, “Well, what could I possibly need?” “You know how could anybody possibly help me?” We already have our plans together. Just take a look at the toolkit and if you feel that you're hitting on all those eight or nine cylinders with no problems, more power to you. Probably some things will come up where you might have a few questions and there might be a possibility that somebody could be of help to you. So that’s how we want to at least get started with the technical assistance, with the toolkit as the driver and with the very simple request process through the e-mail address.
You'll see at the Web site, it’s put online and as it grows and develops, that will become a major supplier of technical assistance to you. There’ll be all kinds of information. We'll probably have spaces on the Web site for the individual grantees to note their progress and note their lessons learned, important documents that they developed. So our webinar will be posted on there, wide range of technical assistance. So you should always the Web site as a key means of accessing technical assistance as well. Let's go to the next slide.
OK. So this is a quick listing largely based on our experience with Smart Policing and other projects and types of technical assistance that had been provided in the past. So it ranges from just you know a simple provision of information. You are looking for a document; you are looking for a piece of research or you are looking for some information that may exist on a problem that you're facing and so we can probably very readily track something down and get it to you. It would be easy for us to get an SME or some experts on the phone to talk with you if something goes up that would be helped by that.
Obviously, we'll be doing a series of webinars, probably once a month or so. I can think of some topics already that we think might be helpful like the role of prosecutors and all these looking at different storage options and configurations, maybe looking at some different collaboration models and making some decisions about seems to work best that way. Certainly, it'll probably be a good idea to have a webinar or two on data collection and basic approach to assessment and evaluation. So these are few ideas. I know there are many others. And as I said, if you have thoughts about that, do not be shy. Be direct with us and let us know what you think and what you want.
Please back up for a second to the previous slide. OK, thank you.
We do have a speakers’ bureau in place. It’s active. It’s been utilized already. So if you're having an event in your location or jurisdiction that would benefit from one our experts to come and talk about issues from a national perspective or from a regional perspective, we can provide you with the speaker, so please make those requests to us. There are times where we will be able to put an SME at your location if the need for technical assistance is detailed enough. We have resources to do that. We have resources to bring different sites together if we see that there are common challenges and common approaches developing that would benefit from collaboration between two or more of the sites. We have the resources to pull those things together if you would like.
We certainly plan to be putting out some regional technical workshops over the next couple of years. We will consult with you on what those topics are.
But that’s a technical assistance resource, and as I said, the Web site itself will be a very valuable source of information. OK.
Now just a brief word on upcoming events. We don’t have the official schedule for webinars out yet but you'll see that fairly soon. I'll just repeat myself, if you have an idea about a webinar, let us know about it. We're planning – we don’t have the exact dates or locations set yet. But in March 2016, there will be a national meeting of all the grantee sites and probably several of our technical assistance providers to accomplish a number of goals, mainly obviously you know developing and delivering technical assistance, providing opportunities for your network here, taking to look at the progress and successes in the sites up to that point. So I'm just working on a draft agenda with BJA right now and as soon as we get that meeting finalized and firmed up, everybody will hear about that.
Mike Roosa: Chip, if I could just chime in quickly?
Chip Coldren: Sure.
Mike Roosa: BJA recently released the podcast series as well the couple links to some additional webinars already available at the toolkit. So if you have some groups, take a look at the podcasts released in a couple of weeks I believe you know see what that is. And if it’s something that’s useful to you, please let us know, but again, wwwbja.gov/bwc for those podcasts available now. You can get them on iTunes on some others. Thanks.
Chip Coldren: OK. Good. Thank you very much.
So in a few minutes, we're going to get to questions from our participants. If you just bear with us for a few more minutes, I want to turn this over to Daniel Pryce from BJA to talk a little bit about their performance measurement tool.
Daniel Pryce: Hi. I'm Daniel Pryce from CSR and I'm the Senior Research Associate there. I'll be sharing with you in the next few minutes what’s a performance measurement tool, otherwise known as the PMT, is all about.
The PMT is basically a data repository hosted and managed by CSR. All grantees are required to report a performance measure that is quantitative data into the PMT every quarter. Grantees are also required to report narrative responses that are quantitative data into the PMT every six months in January and in July. Research analysts at CSR then analyze the data in aggregate form and produce grantees progress reports that are submitted to the BJA. Please note that CSR will provide a more detailed training session for grantees on the use of the PMT in the coming weeks.
Performance measures are generally defined as metrics used to qualify the efficiency and/or effectiveness of a program. Effective performance measures are used to formulate budgets, allocate resources, motivate employees, improve services and facilitate information exchange between citizens and government, and we will talk some more about this when we host the webinar in a few weeks. Next slide please.
So this is basically a summary of the types of data you will be reporting into the PMT. So the performance measures would be reported into the PMT every quarter, so from the first reporting period of January 1st through March 31st, you have up to the end of April to report that data into the PMT, and the same goes for the other quarters. Now for narrative responses or questions, you provide information into the PMT every six months and you would also upload that information into the GMS. Next slide please.
Now grantees are also required to close out via grant when the grant ends, and at that point, you'll provide a final report as an attachment in the PMT which will transfer into the GMS. Next slide please.
And in the GMS, you can have comments as you close your grant. Next slide please.
So we have a great team of research assistants here at CSR who would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding the PMT. Once again, we have a training session coming up in the next few weeks and we will go into detail regarding all of these steps as far as reporting data into the PMT is concerned. Thank you.
Chip Coldren: Daniel, thank you very much for that.
I'm going just take a few minutes here before we get into the questions and answers because we did have several individuals at least as of last night submit some questions during the registration process. Mike, I think I'm going to hand this over to you to take a look at some of those questions and give some answers, and I think Dan Zehnder is standing by to help with one or two of those questions as well.
Michael Roosa: That’s great. Thank you.
Yes, some really good questions and right on point, just as a heads up, I just came back from IACP conference out in Chicago and it was such an opportunity to see these – to see all of these or so many of these service providers in one place and get so many discussions, not just for them but that actually represented some agencies and really talk about some of these. So the first one – and I think this is really critical to set expectations of what BJA will be providing and the TTA provider will be providing in some of the difference in what we provide as well.
The first question was BWC video must be in a format that can be reductive for using court and/or for previous information at your request. This is a time-consuming process. Please discuss the best format for distribution and the best software for reduction, for example, and MP4 format and please discuss.
So this is quite a discussion in the field. It’s really a hard answer. I mean, it shows the complexities of body-worn cameras because we're not talking about a single provider or a single commercial component and we're not talking about a single agency. And in fact, that’s probably the only place that we have a uniqueness, an area that becomes a point that is in the prosecution for the digital evidence in court. An example, being San Diego, we've dealt with Damon Mosler in that area and he has to deal with seven different agencies, submitting evidence, and I believe three of them or should I say of those seven, three of them have different body-worn camera systems, which means they have three different reduction tools, three different submission processes from DVD to cloud base to internal cloud base.
So the answer to this is not any single one answer and there is no clinical best format. What we're looking at from BJA’s perspective is providing, helping you identify the best services for your agency from all of these aspects. But it’s going to be a unique answer each time. One thing we noticed, as I was walking to the IACP components, one of the questions I asked was how do you do with action? What – how does your system handle it? And some said,
“Well, you watch the first part of the video. You identify the suspect or the victim or whoever you want to be redacted, and you select that face, and from then on the system does visual analytics, identify that face throughout.” Except of course, unless it’s an oblique angle and you get the side of the face, then maybe they wouldn't have done that. So maybe it’s better if you select or four or five angles of the same face. And quickly, you realize that it gets almost unbearable for the reduction component.
Some (shadows) in experiment, redacted every face, and then you go and you select the faces that you don’t want to redact on those same kinds of areas. The biggest area that I see here is we've got to minimize the number of times who watch the video to ensure it’s protected. Again, one-side face shot could really, really cause danger to a victim or a witness that did not want to be or should not have been exposed. We know the media will go frame by frame looking for that image, so we want to be really careful there.
But the vendors do it differently and this is the market that we are dealing with. So part of our TTA component is really to help drive that market to answer those problems that you're identifying as need. So you realize BJA doesn’t do – doesn’t wear any body-worn cameras. We don’t do any video reduction. You are the experts, and fortunately CNA has brought experts to the table to help make this reduction happen.
And for example, I'm going to introduce Dan Zehnder out of the Las Vegas Metro PD to give some of his perspective from their agency side. Dan?
Dan Zehnder: Thanks, Mike. Mike is right on target, we're being unique for each agency. We've found locally with our processes that it is time consuming. And more importantly, we tend to focus on facial recognition and reduction, but there are a host of other things, object reductions, audio reductions, all these processes take a lot of time. And so the question about – the comment that it is going to take time, it will take time until processes are (codified) especially between the prosecutor’s office and the agency itself. For example, who’s going to do the reduction? Is it going to happen at the agencies? Is it going to happen at the prosecutor’s office? If it happens at prosecutor’s office, what’s the resource impact requiring police to do that? If it happens to the agency, what’s the resource impact on the agencies? These are all huge, big questions that need to be answered and will have to be taken on a case-by-case basis because not one size fits all.
To get to the question of formatting, especially when we talk about outside of the court process, the next one will be, of course, before you have a request or public record as requested by the state. I'm not aware of any state that specifically tells you what format would the video needs to go in. But MP4 is one of the three major standards and probably the easiest to convert from whatever you’re – whatever vendor system you're using. And it also applies to the court system, unless everything is going to be handled through the prosecutors’ office electronically on Internet and moving evidence around – this digital evidence around between prosecutors, it’s going to end up at some point landing on a disc and being used throughout the court system on a disc.
Smaller courts obviously may don't have the technical capability to have an Internet Web site up where you can look at the video, so there’s a host of issues there. But MP4 would certainly, in the short term, the format to go with and you can – there’re plenty of conversions software that’s reasonably priced at you can purchase to do that if the vendor does not provide that ability with their program.
Michael Roosa: Great. Thank you.
The other question I think we touched on, but I'll them really quick just to make sure we're on target here, the dates and location of the national or regional meetings. We were planning this is a national meeting. We're focused on March. We're trying to identify the correct location. We want to consider all the facilities in that area and we'll get that information out as quickly as possible hopefully by December, if not earlier. Otherwise, the regional meetings are going to be targeted, as Chip mentioned, towards particular aspects. They may not – they might not actually be regional in the sense of regional geographic. They might be geared towards prosecution or some other aspects that we see needed. So there might be some interesting travel here but we'll discuss that and we'll take feedback on recommendations as we move forward.
The other one was a review of data – data review of protocols. I think that matches the first question we had. And the last one was really questions revolving around what DOJ is looking for in the implementation plan that must be submitted within 180 days for approval.
So first of, let me say, if it takes you 100, more than 180 days, that is no problem. We want to see the correct policy from your eyes, not from ours, and if takes longer, do not worry about that timeframe. It is not a fixed date. If we take nine months to develop a good policy and to get it implemented properly and to do the proper community outreach you know discuss with the unions and the prosecutions, all those things that are built into that. We know for sure it can certainly have its own longevity or span, so no stress on those.
If it’s faster, that’s wonderful, but we do need to look at that.
Now what are we actually looking for? It’s pretty much covered. Really, it’s the process for development of the implementation plan, and then the outreach, and those other areas as well as technical decision and then training and those pieces that goes through into a good program.
So I'm going to turn this back over to Chip who’s going to help figure out how you can submit new questions and those are the four we had. Chip, it’s all yours.
Chip Coldren: Good. Good. Thank you again, sir.
(Melinda), can you please join us and just give a brief explanation to people on how to submit a question.
Operator: At this time, if you would like to ask an audio question, simply press star then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. That is star-1 to ask an audio question. We'll pause for just a few moments to compile the Q&A roster.
Chip Coldren: Great. So please take advantage of that or as I said use the chat room. And
Mike, I see we have a question that’s come in. So Dan, we'll probably want this question over to you. What’s the range the camera will record? Can it be used in a 24-hour span in the battery life? So go ahead and I'm sure you have some answers for that.
Dan Zehnder: If you're talking about the span, I guess the question is the range the camera records is dependent on the manufacturer. The field of view, we're looking at 120 to 130 degrees. And by the way, there is some technical specifications put out by BJA a couple of years ago on recommended standards for body cameras. I don't have the link to that but I think if you go to the BJA toolkit, you can find link to it there.
The camera can be used generally. The recordings are anywhere from six to eight hours on a low side, 12 on the high side. And they can be used continuously as long as you have them record – have the battery charged. Capacity, to fill up the capacity on most of these cameras, you have to be recording almost continuously. So I think you're safe with all – most, vast majority of vendors on recording time. Chip?
Mike Roosa: And this is Mike. I love to add that this is one of those areas again that we've seen differences by locality, by privacy, advocates having a big piece to say here or even the union on being concerned that the cameras sees more than the officer sees, and those discussions are still happening.
We are – you know BJA is not going to dictate the camera requirements in the sense of capability. We do have a minimum set that was outlined in the solicitation as well. But the toolkit is always the best place to go. But it is another good example of the differences depending on the agencies, desired implementation.
I'll make another point that you may have a neighbor that’s using a camera system that has a different technical capability than what you're looking at. But for partnering and to facilitate for the prosecution, you have decided to go with the same as the other agency even though it didn’t have the higher level or something along those lines. These are tradeoffs and decisions that we have to make. But certainly, I think discussions with some very capable people that we have in the room today are why we're here and why the TTA provider is here to have those more specific answers, and help you figure out why that question is being asked in the first place so we’ll get to the right answer.
Chip Coldren: Good. Thank you. Hey, Dan, this is Chip. I don’t have the impression that there’s a great variation in the field of vision across the different vendors. Is that true or is there a great variation?
Dan Zehnder: Not a great variation. We're talking you know maybe 10 degrees. But I know there’s – from what I've gathered at IACP, there is a discussion of some vendors increasing that field of view and capabilities of the camera beyond what is out there now. And of course, getting back to Mike’s point, your local – the unique requirements of your local community will certainly drive a host of issues with you know things like night vision and high definition, et cetera.
Chip Coldren: OK. Thank you. We have a question here about human resources. So what is the ratio of – I think you know the ratio of support personnel related to the number of cameras the department has and so – and I know this is an issue for prosecution too. Mike, do you want to take a step with this or Mike White or Dan?
Mike Roosa: I'll start it. I'll do the easy quote, one that we've used many times, as you mentioned earlier, prosecutors for Phoenix, Arizona. The number of the expert panel was for every 100 hours of video, that’s another legal – I just want to get the term right – but basically, legal assistance or legal aid person to help review that camera for their staff, so you're talking a direct correlation between staffing and work. Technically though, this is one of the biggest challenges I've seen in body-worn camera implementation.
It really depends on support staff on how you're going to implement. Are you going cloud? Are you going with you know closed systems that are very easy to replace with a backroom of spares? Do you have the infrastructure that already supports mobile MDTs, CCTVs, ALTRs and those areas? If you do, this is going to line on top of those rather cheaply. You already have a strong storage area network. Or does your city already have a storage area network that the data can just sit there and you don't have to worry about that as an add-on. These are all great questions and I think this is where again we're going to be doing outreach to help you find your answer, not just any answer.
And I'll just turn it back over to Mike White.
Mike White. The only think I would add to what’s been said is that you know you can look at the toolkit, the body-worn camera toolkit, and it does recommend that at least one person be assigned as the program manager for the body-worn camera program, and that person can be someone who’s part time and who’s doing other things or depending on the demand so of the program, maybe that person has to be full time.
And one of the things that Mike has said that I think is a big driver of that is the nature of the data storage. And you know if the data are being maintained locally, then that’s going to require I think more hands-on involvement of a program manager than if it’s handled through cloud storage. And then also you know the degree of collaboration already with a prosecutors’ office in terms of digital evidence. If there’s a good platform there already, then I think that would provide a nice foundation. So I think it’s going to vary quite a bit based on those types of things.
Dan Zehnder: If I could add one thing also, Mike. From an agency’s perspective, there are a host of implied tasks with the manager in this program. One of which is being an auditing – compliance auditing and auditing for content and performance of the officers wearing the camera. So the larger the agency, the more people you may have to bring into this task, whether that’s in a centralized unit or distributed throughout your agency, it will have to be, of course, decision of the agency.
But things like identifying weak practices or strong practices and getting those corrections out to the field or the messages back out to the field, that requires a lot of time and effort and an organized process of this operation and training feedback move. So the more you get into that as an agency, and you feel the cameras begin to find these things, these missions that you can think about for the longer – or excuse me – the more focused that you may have to tie in to your program.
Chip Coldren: Good. I actually think we have somebody waiting to ask an audio question. Is that true, (Melinda)?
Operator: Yes. Your audio question comes from the line of (Chantal Jones).
Chip Coldren: Great.
Chantal Jones: Hi. My question is if the video isn't reviewed within the 100 hours, would the footage be lost?
Mike Roosa: That’s a great question, a very, very vendor specific. I wouldn't be concerned on any video being lost in any system. This is Mike Roosa. I'm sorry. And your requirements with your vendor are going to be specific. Now if you have a requirement that is being done that way, then of course, you’d be limited by that requirement. But vendors are not going to destroy any video unless the agency has given them the process for such destruction. So that’s really a decision that the agency makes with their contract, typically with their provider or in some cases that internally managed.
Chantal Jones: OK. Thank you.
Chip Coldren: Now we have room for another question, whoever is in the chat room there. OK. To me the camera itself represents 20 percent of the project while storage, reduction and distribution are the largest issue. Is there a company that you know that offers universal-meditated decoding?
Mike Roosa: So you can certainly have discussions with the TTA provider on what they’ve seen at agencies. BJA won't go specific to any one agency or any – represent any one vendor. We certainly will echo best practices that we hear from agencies. So I’d be quiet unless a TTA provider discusses that certainly.
Chip Coldren: Dan, do you have any thoughts about this?
Dan Zehnder: None on this one. I'm aware that there is some work being done on this, but again, I couldn't comment on the technical aspects of it.
Chip Coldren: OK.
Mike Roosa: This is Mike again. I'll be glad to throw in that it depends on your digital media evidence storage components and the layering of your technology. From other app vendors or applications out there, do now allow a third-party application to lie on top of it, so you would have to be very careful in your selection of the provider.
If you are looking to expand in certain areas such as reduction, in other words, if you figured out after you've made the purchase that your data is locked into a particular vendor and you can't change the digital media evidence tools, then you have to figure out how to make that work after the facts. And those are questions we want to ask pre purchase. But if you purchase a system that’s rather open and you can apply other layers such as video reduction on top of them, then you can plug in and plug, unplug and plug in something new to make sure it meets your requirement and learn the best practices and work with it. So we do want to be careful. This is where we would say, be very careful in making that first purchase.
Getting it turned on fast is a good thing. We appreciate that. But getting it turned on correctly is definitely going to cost less in the long run, considering that 80 percent number is build cost. It’s something you don’t even figure out until a few months into the project. So it is a really good question.
Chip Coldren: Yes. And Mike, most questions that we get – that question generates more questions because this field is very young. And I think one of the things that we're learning as we go along is that these questions themselves are going to drive the field and drive the grant program. So if you ask a question like that, there may not to be a direct answer right away, but simply by asking that question, you'll get a number of us talking to each other and better information will result because of the question being asked.
So I think we're going to have to draw to a close here. We're one minute before 2 o'clock. And I would just encourage you to contact us through that email address. If these questions have not been answered to your satisfaction or if you have other questions, please feel free to do that. And as we said, you'll be hearing from us over the next few weeks as we start to roll out our technical assistance teams and our new products for TA.
Let me just at this point thank Mike Roosa and his team at BJA, not just for setting this all up but for working with us pretty closely on this webinar, same thing with Mike White and Shellie for ASU and JSS, and my team at CNA. I like the way it has went. I like the way the questions were asked and I like the engagement over the answers. So let's just let that be a beginning point for the way we do our work together over the next few years, OK?
Mike, anything from you to wrap up?
Mike Roosa: Nothing. Great close. I really appreciate the attendance that we have and please feel free to tell anybody in your agencies to look up and watch this webinar after the fact.
Chip Coldren: Yes. Good. Many thanks to everybody.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.