Mayor Jorge Elorza, Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré and Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. today announced the launch of the Body Worn Camera (BWC) Pilot Program. The Providence Police Department hopes to use this innovative tool to deliver the highest quality and most efficient police services to the community.
“In Providence, we are committed to partnering and collaborating with local community stakeholders to foster a positive relationship that benefits both our residents and brave officers,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This pilot program serves as a model that we can use to evaluate the best practices and needs of our department and city at large.”
Initially, the department will deploy 10 officers, from both the uniform and investigative divisions, wearing one set of cameras for 30 days followed by an identical pilot with a second set of cameras made by a another company for an additional 30 days. During this time, evaluations will be conducted in the following areas: equipment ease of use, officer safety, deployment, records retrieval and release of information, evidence collection, and the impact on public privacy and community relations.
The companies being tested, VieVu and Taser International, are full service companies that provide the highest quality equipment, along with full service data storage and retrieval capabilities.
“The Providence Police Department strives to bridge the gap between our members and the community and this pilot program takes the appropriate steps forward towards our goal of transparency,” said Colonel Clements. “Through the collaboration between the Mayor’s office, the police department and the community, citizens have been able to give feedback regarding this program and we look forward to working with our community partners throughout this trial period. We are confident that this program will be beneficial to our officers and the individuals they encounter while working in the field.”
Additional funding will be needed if the department takes the BWC program to full scale, which would cost about $1 Million over the next 3 years. This cost includes a camera for each officer as well as storage for the video that is captured.
Providence Police Officers are set to begin wearing these cameras at the end of April.