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Body-Worn Cameras: Pilot Program

The Initial Body-Worn Camera Pilot Program (October 2014)

The Metropolitan Police Department is committed to providing a high-quality customer service experience in every interaction our members have with you, the general public. Our goal is to ensure that each officer treats every individual with respect and dignity throughout the interaction. MPD will begin piloting its Body-Worn Camera (BWC) program in early October 2014. The program consists of a variety of cameras that can be mounted on the officer's uniform in various locations depending on his or her comfort level and best practices. You may begin to see some of our officers wearing these cameras in your community. They are designed to provide an additional layer of accountability for our members and also will offer a degree of additional safety for them as they patrol.

The cameras will work like this: As an officer approaches a scene — either as a result of a radio assignment for a call for service or because he or she has witnessed something requiring action — the officer will turn on the camera to begin recording. The camera records continuously throughout the officer's handling of the incident. Each system records clear audio and high-quality video for later review and possibly as evidence in a criminal or civil matter. Once the incident is concluded, the officer clears the scene and turns off the recording. At the end of his or her shift each day, the officer will upload the contents of the camera's recordings to a remote evidence management system for processing and storage. 

The initial rollout will include only a few dozen cameras. The cameras being tested include the Taser Axon Body, Taser Axon Flex, VieVu LE3, Wolfcom Vision, and Wolfcom 3rd Eye cameras, which each offer a variety of features and mounts designed to capture the action without interfering with the officer's job. After the pilot program, MPD will examine the success of the various types of cameras and determine which ones will be implemented across the agency in the near future. It is our hope to make these cameras a standard part of the MPD uniform so that we can further our commitment to giving DC residents, visitors, and workers the highest level of customer satisfaction.