Body Camera Basics: Training, Use, and Storage
Training, use, and storage are three key backbones of any body camera policy. We have complied some basic information for each of these three headers and provided links to further reading, which may help you to further understand the considerations required for implementing a body camera program.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance Body Camera Toolkit suggests that “The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report concludes that 'it is important to provide rigorous, ongoing officer training' regarding policy and protocols is essential for effective use of the technology.”
“It may also be useful for an agency to create a training manual on BWCs, and to make that manual available to officers. As use of BWCs expands in an agency, training on the technology should be incorporated into academy curriculum, so that new recruits are exposed to the cameras during their formative training experience.”
“Some departments have selected an officer to serve as a liaison on BWC issues. The liaison meets periodically with line officers wearing cameras to create a feedback loop regarding training, policy, and use of questions and concerns.”
One great example of how and when to use a body camera comes from the City of Clare PD, with whom Reveal provided RS1-SX cameras, and Officer Pedjac of the force recently said “We are in the process of evaluating the RS2-X2 body camera.” Below is taken from the department’s policy on body cameras, which is available from our Knowledge Bank or directly here.
- Officers shall activate the BWC to record all official and investigative contacts with citizens in the performance of official duties. Everyday non official contact with citizens does not need to be recorded but may be at the discretion of the Officer.
- The BWC shall remain activated until the event is completed in order to ensure the integrity of the recording unless the contact moves into an area restricted by this policy*
- If an officer fails to activate the BWC, fails to record the entire contact, or interrupts the recording, the officer shall document why a recording was not made, was interrupted, or was terminated.
- Civilians shall not be allowed to review the recordings at the scene.
*e.g.Communications with other police personnel without the permission of the Chief of Police, encounters with undercover officers or confidential informants, when on break or otherwise engaged in personal activities, or in any location where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a restroom or locker room.
Specific to the U.S.A, "The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has developed specific guidelines that departments should consider when contracting with third-party vendors for cloud-based data storage... Agencies should consult the IACP guide before contracting with third-party vendors for data storage" says the BJA toolkit. Plus, privacy is a large concern for both public and police officers alike and is something the toolkit covers extensively.
At Reveal we are able to provide recommendations for cloud storage solutions and because our cameras include the incredible DEMS software as standard, securely uploading footage from camera to cloud or physical storage is made even easier.
For further information regarding our cameras and DEMS please visit our products page. Additionally you can find further resources in our Knowledge Bank, and on the Body Worn Video Steering Group Website.