The Prince William County Police Department are moving forward with their body camera program.
The department has been looking at implementing a body camera program for several years, advocating at Prince William Board of County Supervisors meetings to secure funding for a feasibility study and pilot program.
Prince William police completed the feasibility study, looking at what would be needed financially and infrastructurally to place body cameras on every officer, and then completed the pilot program where officers tested two body camera systems, according to a release.
“The [Prince William County] Police Department received final approval from the Board of County Supervisors earlier this year to move forward with implementation. The Police Department has signed a contract with Axon, formerly known as Taser International, and the Axon Body 2 camera was selected as the system which best meets the needs of our agency,” stated a release.
To learn more about the body cameras selected, click here.
According to a release, the body camera program will be rolled out beginning in September, and will be phased in through the end of the 2017 calendar year.
“The Police Department is proud of the results of the County’s citizen satisfaction survey that show the Police Department is well regarded by the community. Body-Worn Cameras are a way to build upon the trust and strong relationship the Police Department enjoys with the community today. The overall goal of the BWC program is to enhance community trust by documenting law enforcement encounters with the public while, at the same time, promoting accountability, transparency and professionalism,” stated Chief of Police Barry Barnard in a release.
As part of the roll out, the department will get all of the body camera equipment and complete IT upgrades to prepare the infrastructure, install mounts to store the footage, and install the software on department computers and the courthouse to monitor and keep the collected body camera footage, according to a release.
“The Department plans to begin training officers on the adopted policy, the use of the cameras and the accompanying software this coming fall in preparation for complete deployment by December. Staff selected to operate a camera at this phase include all Patrol Officers, K-9 Officers, Traffic Enforcement (Motor) Officers, and School Resource Officers. The Department may deploy cameras to additional staff as the program progresses,” stated a release.
To learn more about the body camera study, pilot program, and roll out of the full program, click here.