DETROIT, MI – From March through June of this year, the Detroit Police Department will be testing out body worn cameras as it explores the possibility of fully implementing Body Cam technology later this year.
Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig announced the trial program today as part of their efforts to bring greater transparency to the police Department in its interactions with the public.
The 90-day pilot will test three different camera systems but four different styles, to determine the best, most effective technology for possible full implementation in the Department. Twenty officers in the department’s 11th precinct have volunteered to don the cameras during the tour of their duties.
The cameras are made by three separate companies: Taser Co., Innovative Solutions and Data 911. All three companies are finalists in a competitive selection process and are donating the use of their cameras during the evaluation phase. Seven vendors participated in the Request for Proposal process with five submitting proposals and three were selected to move into the pilot program.
If the Department wishes to proceed with full implementation after the pilot period, one vendor will be recommended with key evaluation criteria based on operational function, departmental compatibility, durability and simplicity of use.
Final recommendations will be presented to the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners and Detroit City Council for approval.
Each vendor’s camera system will receive a 30-day field trial concluding with each officer completing a survey. The 20 officers participating in this trial range from one year of seniority to 29 years within the police department and are a mix of patrol-based officers and special operations officers, as well as supervisors.
The cameras can be worn in a variety of ways; attached to the lapel, shirt or glasses. The cameras can be turned on and off by the participating officers for reason of user and victim privacy. At the end of their shift, each officer will return the camera to its corresponding cradle and it will automatically upload to the Detroit Police Department’s Cloud Based Storage account, allowing the video to be reviewed later, if necessary.
If cameras are approved, funded and purchased, the department plans to obtain 415 cameras, with each precinct receiving 30 cameras and cradles with chargers to be shared amongst the officers. Other specialized units (i.e. Narcotics, SRT, and Tactical Response Unit) would also receive and be mandated to wear the cameras during the tour of their duties. Investigative units would have access to download the footage and use it for evidentiary purposes if needed.