Body-worn camera initiatives in correctional facilities may fail to get off the ground unless the program includes well-defined policies. These typically include recording protocols, data storage and user access.
Equipment management for body-worn cameras must consider the huge amounts of data these devices generate. Policies must address how to handle stored and archived video. While effective data storage is essential, how long facilities should keep archived data differs by state.
From an HR perspective, every staff member must be thoroughly trained in the program's technical and philosophical aspects. Deputies will be more policy-compliant once they understand why each step is required. Supervisors should be especially familiar with the hardware and must spend time and effort to randomly review footage as part of staff evaluations.
Public safety workforce management software can help supervisors track equipment use and deputy training. Renewal notifications can be automated to ensure that annual refresher courses have been scheduled, and any cameras requiring repairs can be tracked as they go in and out of maintenance.
Body-worn cameras have the potential to transform corrections. It is essential that a carefully developed program with relevant policies be put in place to help ensure that this is a positive experience.
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