The Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) has been selected to act as the local government liaison for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) recently launched Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Project. Officer body-worn cameras (BWC) are relatively small devices that record interactions between community members and law enforcement officers. The BJA, working in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice and the Office of Justice Programs, started this project in an effort to assist law enforcement agencies with the enhancement or integration of BWC initiatives. Moreover, BJA funded a new training and technical assistance program to help local communities implement their own BWC program.
CPSM is collaborating on this project with CNA Analysis and Solutions, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, Virginia, that has completed considerable research on BWC. CNA and its partners, Arizona State University and Justice & Security Strategies, have been contracted to work directly with BJA to develop and expand BWC training and technical assistance.
“Recent national events have highlighted the importance of strong collaborative relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” stated Honorable Denise O’Donnell, BJA Director. “The presence of body-worn cameras helps strengthen accountability and transparency, reduce community complaints, and can assist in deescalating conflicts, resulting in more constructive encounters between the police and the members of the communities they serve.”
As BJA and CNA further their research, CPSM’s role within this significant effort is a connecting one: the company is tasked with interacting with local government administrators and elected officials, relaying the new BWC research and its recommendations via an online toolkit. A compilation of CNA’s research, the toolkit is a comprehensive yet portable solution that CPSM showcases at various conferences and promotes to cities nationwide. Further, if integration of BWC is agreed upon, CPSM works with these public agencies to teach them how to apply for grant funding from the Department of Justice.
“Law enforcement regulations are constantly evolving to keep up with current research and modern technology,” said Leonard Matarese, co-founder and Principal of CPSM. “The subject of body-worn cameras has become more widespread over recent years, creating a need for more investigation and study into that field. One of CPSM’s priorities is to assist cities and their police departments in more effectively using their resources; because of this, our team wants to promote the CNA toolkit and implement these programs successfully.”
The research and outreach project, started in November 2016, will run until 2019. Backed by first-hand expertise in local government management and having provided exclusive technical assistance to ICMA for numerous years, CPSM can efficiently reach out to elected officials in order to explain BWC and proper methodology for implementation. Moreover, the team has begun exploring the idea of expanding outreach to non-police officials with the help of city police departments. CPSM aims to familiarize local governments with the toolkit, in turn streamlining the process of implementation through updated policies and programs.