June 5, 2017 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . The Prince William County Police Department will deploy Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) this fall. The roll out of the cameras will begin in September and continue through the end of the year.
Chief of Police Barry Barnard considers the implementation of the BWC system to be a significant milestone for the Department and the Prince William County community. Chief Barnard states "The Police Department is proud of the results of the County's citizen satisfaction survey that show the Police Department is well regarded by the community. Body-Worn Cameras are a way to build upon the trust and strong relationship the Police Department enjoys with the community today. The overall goal of the BWC program is to enhance community trust by documenting law enforcement encounters with the public while, at the same time, promoting accountability, transparency and professionalism."
The Police Department has been exploring the potential implementation of a BWC system for several years. The Department conducted a feasibility study which looked into financial and infrastructure needs, worked with County agencies and community stakeholders to develop a policy governing the use and deployment of the BWC, and conducted a pilot program testing two different BWC systems. The Police Department received final approval from the Board of County Supervisors earlier this year to move forward with implementation. The Police Department has signed a contract with Axon, formerly known as Taser International, and the Axon Body 2 camera was selected as the system which best meets the needs of our agency.
Over the next few months, the Police Department will receive the BWC equipment and begin solidifying infrastructure enhancements that include IT upgrades, the installation of necessary mounts to store the system, and install software on computers housed in police facilities and the courthouse. The Department plans to begin training officers on the adopted policy, the use of the cameras and the accompanying software this coming fall in preparation for complete deployment by December. Staff selected to operate a camera at this phase include all Patrol Officers, K-9 Officers, Traffic Enforcement (Motor) Officers, and School Resource Officers. The Department may deploy cameras to additional staff as the program progresses.
To learn more about the Body-Worn Camera Program, please click here.