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Body Worn Cameras in PD's Future

Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) are in the Visalia Police Department’s future, as City Council authorized the Department to accept a federal grant at the November 6th meeting.

Formally titled the “2017 U.S. Department of Justice’s BWC Policy and Implentation Grant,” the grant of $153,000 has a mandatory 50% cash match. PD is required to contribute a 50% matching requirement in the two-year grant project period.

The BWC program will be an on-going operating expenditure, and PD intends to enter into a five-year contract with a vendor who can provide the most efficient BWC package available.

The ideal program will be a BWC solution and encompasses equipment, storage and a replacement program.

PD has been working with the City’s Information Services (IS) Division, and they are in favor of the BWC solution that hosts and archives the video footage off-site or via a cloud provider.

Locally, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Porterville Police Department, Fresno Police Department, Avenal Police Department, Hanford Police Department, Merced Police Department, Madera Police Department, and other local agencies have either implemented or are in the process of implementing, a body-worn camera program.

PD has been in contact with these and other agencies as part of its research of BWC programs and will continue to do so in order to share information and identify and employ effective implementation strategies and appropriate equipment.

A separate agenda item will be presented to City Council at a future meeting to award a contract for BWC equipment and services. Staff is looking to implement the contract in early 2018. 

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