Body Worn Cameras
Update: August 26, 2022
Members of PATF-HoCo met with representatives of the Howard County Police Department on August 23 to provide feedback on the Body Worn Camera policy. The HCPD representatives indicated that the department is currently working on an update to the BWC policy.
We highlighted three primary areas of concern:
An officer who has shot or seriously injured someone or is involved in an in-custody death should not be allowed to review video before writing a report or being interviewed. Since others involved in critical incidents (i.e., a shooting or person seriously injured) are not allowed to review BWC footage before being questioned, an officer involved in a critical incident or in an in-custody death should also not be allowed to review video before writing a report or being interviewed.
The Police Accountability Board (PAB) should be added to the list of groups authorized to view video footage.
There is nothing in the policy regarding penalties for violating the BWC policy; if disciplinary action is detailed in another HCPD policy, this document needs to be available to the public.
Our complete comments can be found here.
The exchange was positive, and the HCPD representatives committed to sharing our concerns with Chief Der and seriously considering them during their policy revision.
PATF-HoCo August 23, 2022 meeting with HCPD representatives. From left to right: Wayne Jones - HCPD Chief of Staff; Angie Page - PATF-HoCo; Ted Stewart - PATF-HoCo; Jackie Akinpelu - PATF-HoCo; Mark Booker - PATF-HoCo; Tami Bulla - HCPD Office of Chief of Police Strategic Planning/Legislative Affairs; Steve Lampe - HCPD Commander, Professional Standards Bureau
Update: June 1, 2022
Update: September 18, 2021
In anticipation of the approval of full funding in Fiscal Year 2022 for the Police Body-Worn Camera Program by the Howard County Council on October 4, the PATF-HoCo plans to engage with County law enforcement regarding best practices that will achieve a model implementation supporting the best interests of both Howard County residents and law enforcement. Based on a great deal of research by our team, we have compiled two Key Implementation Recommendations documents. The first is a top level highlights document, and the second is a document with a more detailed set of recommendations.
We want to ensure that the document reflects the wishes of the Howard County community, and we would love to get feedback from our coalition partners. We ask that coalition partner members review the two documents below and provide feedback to email@example.com no later than 10/2/2021.
Update: August 20, 2021
Today, the County Executive has announced that he will provide an update on the BWC Program on Monday, August 23, 2021. In his announcement he states that “Funding for the program is currently in contingency funding status in the FY2022 operating budget.”
Simply addressing the contingency funds of $475K while ignoring the much larger gutting of the program funding will not be acceptable to PATF or to our Community. We are calling on Dr. Ball to not only address the contingency funding of $475k, but also to reinstate the full funding for the BWC Program at $3.8M in FY22 and to take all necessary measures to ensure full GO LIVE implementation of the program by the end of 2021.
We have been disappointed by the County Executive before when he announced the program and quickly gutted it. So we hope that on Monday, he will provide an explanation of how he will find the remaining $3.3 million for the program in addition to the small $475k contingency funding.
The time for action is long overdue.