News

Reveal Proposes Body Worn Video to Tampa Police

08-12-2014

Reveal is a part of five companies that have submitted interest to provide body worn video cameras to the Tampa Police Department in response to a request for proposals that the department made last month.

The city revealed the companies' names, but details of the proposals will likely not be made public until a Police Department committee makes a selection. The decision is expected in the next few weeks.

The department plans to initially purchase 60 body cameras, with the goal of eventually providing them to all 750 officers who patrol the city.

The cameras will record officers' interactions with the public and officers will clip the devices to part of their uniforms and wear them throughout their patrol shifts. Reveal has various mounting options available and the most popular placement of a camera is on the chest as opposed to the head or shoulder.

In its request, the department outlined a series of requirements for the cameras. Among them are that they be easily activated in stressful situations, have the capacity to be reviewed in a patrol vehicle, and be easily mounted to the outermost portion of an officer's uniform. Officers will also be incapable of editing or deleting recordings and videos will be securely stored using specialist software.

A department committee will review the five proposals, then submit a written recommendation to the city's purchasing department. The City Council will make the decision.

Police hope to begin using the cameras by Jan. 1.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide have begun using the cameras in recent years. Proponents say they promote accountability and increase resident safety. Critics have expressed concerns about privacy and the need for rules about how long recordings can be retained - a policy usually decided by an agency of roughly 31 days, although some decide much longer.

In NY Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that the New York Police Department was accelerating its efforts to outfit nearly every patrol officer on the force with body cameras.

Speaking at a news conference at a Police Academy in Queens, said the cameras would “fundamentally change” the way the police and community interact.

“When something happens, to have a video record of it, from the police officers’ perspective, is going to help in many, many ways,” he said. “And God forbid, when something goes wrong, we are going to have a clearer sense of what happened.”

The drive to implement body worn video on a national level comes after Obama’s proposal to congress for the use of the technology in response to high profile events where police behaviour has been called into question.

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