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Body Camera Systems

Agencies preparing to implement a body camera program may quickly discover that the process is more involved than one would initially expect. Issuing the Request for Proposal (RFP), bid leveling, choosing a solution, implementing the program, writing policy, and the hidden costs, the process can be challenging.

Before you design your RFP, we would suggest finding out what body camera solutions your neighboring agencies are using and what solution your state attorney / local prosecutor is using. Often this will help guide your selection process.

Next you need to figure out exactly what your Chief's vision for the program is, and what features will be required as part of any proposal. How many cameras will you be needing, will in-car video be included at any time in the future, how are cameras being charged and downloaded, what bells and whistles are a must have and what are ones you would like as an option. This process will guide your RFP design.

When it is time to meet with your vendors for RFP presentations, be fair to your vendors and yourself. Allow enough time for the vendor to provide a comprehensive overview of their product and allow yourself enough time to truly understand what the vendor is offering. A 15-minute presentation is not enough time to adequately evaluate a product or service. Have your RFP evaluation team meet before the FRP is issued and determine how much time will be allocated to each presentation. While 60 minutes per presenter may seem like a extreme time commitment, it is a minor commitment compared to how long you will be tied to your body camera contract. A little time commitment up front to understand the products being presented will avoid hours of discussions and negotiations later in the process.

Selecting a vendor that meets you budget can be a challenging process, but done right will have a huge long term pay back to your agency in reduced law suits, reduction in fake IA complaints, and improved transparency with your community.

Once the vendor / product is selected, your in-house program manager will have a lot of work ahead for him, This can include writing policy, receiving and issuing equipment, installing IT infrastructure to support the body camera program and keeping up on the program after go-live. We highly recommend that you loop in your IT director at the start of any law enforcement technology program and make sure their concerns are addressed up front an the program is something the IT department can support or can contract to a thirds party to support. Without IT on board from the start, the implementation process will be much more difficult and time consuming then originally thought.

If you have questions about implementing a program, post on our technology forum or contact LETC for help designing and implementing your body camera solution.

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