DOJ Creating Body Camera Reference Guide to Local Forces
The Department of Justice wants to help police departments make smart buying decisions on wearable cameras by publishing a catalog of devices ranked across various criteria.
To bring more transparency to the situations surrounding officer shootings across the country, police departments are moving quickly to equip their officers with body cameras.
The National Institute of Justice contacted vendors of such equipment to obtain a list of their product offerings, as well as new features they plan to release in the near future.
"This market survey, which will identify commercially available body-worn camera systems, will be published by NIJ to assist purchasing agents or other representatives of law enforcement officials in their assessment of relevant information prior to making purchasing decisions," the April 28 information request states. "Comments are invited with regard to the market survey, including which categories of information are appropriate for comparison, as well as promotional material (e.g., slick sheet) and print-quality photographs of the technology."
The product comparison catalog is set to debut December 2016 at the latest, said a spokesperson for the National Institute of Justice.
A seven-page listing of common body camera features, like data protection and privacy controls, will be included in the guide as well.
The DOJ will also include information about cameras with “mounting options” like goggles, helmets, and sunglasses.
At the very least, the catalog will include information on five areas of each device: a) vendor, b) camera, c) video storage software, d) ease of use, and f) installation.
Baltimore police officers were set to begin wearing Taser body cameras beginning May 1, thanks to an $11.6 million deal, The Baltimore Sun reported earlier this year. The announcement came nearly 12 months after the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in a police van.
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