April 2022 UPDATE
The cameras are here! HCPD has just received body worn cameras (BWC) for 300 uniformed officers. With the equipment in-hand, we can now create the infrastructure and implement administrative efforts to get the program running as soon as possible.
The county is installing new data lines to connect the BWC docking stations at police facilities. This will provide the framework needed to dock, charge and download videos from the cameras. They are also installing required equipment in each patrol vehicle to enable the BWC technology.
The BWC policy committee is meeting this month as work continues on a policy for the police chief’s review and approval. The committee has used model policies from other successful BWC programs to ensure best practices for our agency. HCPD leaders have also been meeting with various stakeholders and community groups for input and discussion about the BWC program and policy.
The HCPD Information Management Division has hired new administrative employees who will help run the BWC program behind the scenes. They will be responsible for handling Public Information Act requests and reviewing video before it is released. These employees will undertake extensive training, to include practical exercises that will help prepare them when the cameras are deployed into the field.
Body worn camera training is scheduled to begin in late May for all uniformed officers. We expect to have all the necessary components in place to fully equip and train our members by then. As we move forward, we will continue to keep you posted about our progress!
Body worn cameras are coming to Howard County! The process is underway to have cameras on uniformed officers as soon as possible. As in many industries, there have been supply chain issues causing delays in receiving the BWC equipment. But in the meantime, we’ve been busy getting ready behind the scenes!
While we wait for the cameras to arrive, we have been drafting policy that follows best practices from agencies around the country. Our HR team has been working hard to hire the additional staff needed to handle the administrative side of this large-scale program. And we have been scheduling training sessions for the officers so they can hit the ground running once we have the technology in-hand.
We are doing our best to be patient but are anxious to get the BWC program underway. We appreciate your support and will continue keep you updated throughout the implementation process.
In 2021, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the implementation of a body worn camera program would be funded in Fiscal Year 2022.
The program includes the following for the Howard County Police Department:
- Cameras for 300 uniformed officers
- New Body Worn Camera Division and Video Management Section
- 10 new positions (three sworn, seven civilian)
- Extensive training for every sworn member and many civilians
- Equipment acquisition
October 2021 News Release: Howard County Executive Signs Budget Amendment to Fund Body-Worn Camera Program Beginning in October