Body-Worn Cameras and Use of Force
April 24, 2016
I recently had the opportunity to co-host a workshop on Body-Worn Cameras and Use of Force at the 2016 BJA Body-Worn Camera Training and Technical Assistance National Meeting, April 18-19, hosted by CNA Analysis & Solutions in Washington DC. This was a gathering of all the 72 agencies from around the country that had been awarded funding the 2016 BJA BWC Pilot Implementation Program Grant. I spoke about the implications of BWCs on use of force and how an agency’s “use of force culture” would now be documented by the cameras. BWC presence is a critical piece of use of force documentation. Ensuring a comprehensive policy, either in an agency’s use of force or BWC policy, that clearly outlines this integrated documentation process is essential. This is absolutely critical in the case of deadly force. Detailed procedures must be outlined of the handling, processing, and documentation of BWC recordings in the instance of deadly force. I also spoke about BWCs as a vital part of the risk management process: identification,assessment,mitigation,evaluation and revision. Finally, I spoke about the great potential BWCs have to aid an agency in analyzing many aspects of use of force policy, procedures, and training. Any agency deploying BWCs must understand the importance of the relationship of BWCs and use of force. Both body policies and all related procedures must be fully integrated.