WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance launched the National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit, an online clearinghouse of resources designed to help law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve plan and implement body-worn camera programs. The toolkit consolidates and translates research, promising practices, templates and tools that have been developed by subject matter experts.
"Evidence indicates that the presence of body-worn cameras helps strengthen accountability and transparency, reduce community complaints, and can assist in de-escalating conflicts," said BJA's Director Denise O'Donnell. "Yet the implementation of a body-worn camera program presents significant opportunities and challenges."
In late February, BJA convened a Body-Worn Camera Expert Panel that consisted of law enforcement leaders, recognized criminal justice practitioners, national policy leaders, and civil rights and community advocates. The expert panel came together to discuss the benefits and challenges related to the adoption of BWC technology and to begin developing an online toolkit that can serve as a clearinghouse of resources on body-worn camera program planning and implementation. Through facilitated discussions, the expert panel covered a full range of issues and considerations that confront communities that are considering to adopt the technology and the benefits that can accrue when programs are successful. The expert panel identified strategies to address key implementation issues, including policy implications, technological and legal considerations, and training needs.
"The result of that joint effort is a toolkit designed to provide assistance in selecting the technology that best fits a department's needs and to provide resources so that law enforcement can collaboratively establish policies that address privacy, training, and implementation," said O'Donnell.
The National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit can be found at https://www.bja.gov/bwc/, and focuses on procurement; policies; training; implementation; retention and includes the perspectives of prosecutors, defenders, advocates and community members.
About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
OJP, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs