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Body Worn Cameras

Policy

Historical Timeline (in order from most recent):

November 1, 2018

Phase One of the Body Worn Camera Program Starts

July 11, 2018

Sheriff Provides Community Update on Body Worn Cameras

JACKSONVILLE, FL (July 11, 2018) - Sheriff Williams, along with Department of Police Service Director Tony Davis outline a comprehensive status update to the community on the research, acquisition and deployment of body worn cameras for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: In 2017, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office launched the use of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) in order to accomplish several objectives:
  • Enhance accountability and public trust by preserving evidence of officer interaction with citizens; 
  • Capture digital audio-video evidence for criminal, civil, and traffic-related court cases; 
  • Assist officers with recalling facts or other details captured by the equipment that will help them accurately articulate a chain of events when writing reports; 
  • Serve as a training tool for officer safety and best practices; and
  • Assist in the assessment of contacts between officers and citizens by reviewing procedures and interpersonal actions.
From February through June 2017, the Sheriff’s Office conducted six town hall meetings throughout the city and the Sheriff also held a city-wide meeting with the community to update the status of the body worn cameras.

TESTING & EVALUATION: In July 2017, the Body Worn Camera Unit was created and the Testing & Evaluation Pilot Program (T&E) began with vendors. The three-phased evaluation period was designed to evaluate for operational, budgetary and policy of this capability. The first test phase was held from July – September 2017 with 30 officers of varying ranks and functions participating in the pilot program. The second vendor test phase was held January – March 2018 and the last test period was held March - May 2018. After each trial phase, the participating officers were surveyed for feedback on: Ease of Use, User Interface, Video Review Functionality, Device Features as well as general Policy Insight.

BUDGET: In September 2017, the Sheriff’s Office was awarded a $997,956 body worn camera grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. These funds were approved for use in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 operating budget. No technology costs have been budgeted for the Body Camera initiative in FY19. JSO will begin to budget these costs in FY20 after the grant has ended.

Currently, JSO is in the procurement phase to procure single-unit, on-officer cameras. Once the procurement process is complete, JSO will use the awarded funds to acquire and deploy the devices in a phased approach. JSO anticipates issuing approximately 200 devices in the first quarter of FY19. The initial allocations of devices will be divided amongst the patrol personnel. Officers who are issued a BWC device will receive required training (with testing) covering the functionality, procedures and policy related to using the equipment in their day-to-day law enforcement activities.

POLICY: The current BWC policy is still under review with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) labor union. While talks have had been productive, the release date of the final approved version of the policy is unclear. However, officers will adhere to the initial policy released at the onset of the program until an updated policy is approved.

Video of the June 1st Meeting available on:  YouTube  | Facebook

May 31, 2017

Sheriff Williams Updates Community on Body Worn Cameras

WHERE: FSCJ Downtown Campus - Auditorium Room A 1068, 101 W. State Street (Enter FSCJ Parking Lot off of Bethel Baptist Street | Map)

WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 1, 2017

Following six town hall meetings to gather feedback and receive questions from the community about JSO’s planned body worn camera program for police, Sheriff Mike Williams announces that he will host a wrap-up meeting on June 1st. The event will stream live on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleSheriffsOffice).

“I plan to review what has been discussed to date at the six town halls, and also update the community on things that have evolved about the program. Questions have ranged from legislation; our budget; the product offerings available; our pilot program that is set to launch; and the projected timeline for the technical test (pilot) and ultimately implementation of the program,” said Williams. “I look forward to an opportunity to discuss where we are and what comes next.”

JSO’s Director of Services and Finance, Tony Davis and his BWC team continue their work on the research and preparation for the program, including a first draft of the policy.

All six planned town hall meetings, one in every part of Jacksonville, have now been completed.

Town Hall Meeting Regarding Body Cameras

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Florida State College at Jacksonville - Deerwood Campus, 9911 Old Baymeadows Road
Room B1204

Town Hall Meeting Regarding Body Cameras

Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Florida State College at Jacksonville - Downtown Campus, 101 W. State Street
Large Auditorium     A1068

May 9, 2017

Sheriff Williams to Update Community on Body Worn Cameras

WHERE: FSCJ Downtown Campus, 101 W. State Street, Auditorium - Room A 1068

WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 1, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, FL (May 8, 2017) - Following six town hall meetings, to gather feedback and receive questions from the community about JSO’s planned body worn camera program for police, Sheriff Mike Williams announces that he will host a wrap-up meeting on June 1st.

“I plan to review what has been discussed to date at the six town halls, and also update the community on things that have evolved about the program. Questions have ranged from legislation; our budget; the product offerings available; our pilot program that is set to launch; and the projected timeline for the technical test (pilot) and ultimately implementation of the program,” said Williams. “I look forward to an opportunity to discuss where we are and what comes next.”

JSO’s Director of Services and Finance, Tony Davis and his BWC team continue their work on the research and preparation for the program, including a first draft of the policy.

Four of the six planned town hall meetings, one in every part of Jacksonville, have now been completed.
Town Hall Meeting Regarding Body Cameras

Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Florida State College at Jacksonville - Kent Campus, 3939 Roosevelt Blvd
Large Auditorium     F128

Town Hall Meeting Regarding Body Cameras

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Florida State College at Jacksonville - South Campus, 11901 Beach Blvd.
Wilson Center – Lakeside Room 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Town Hall Meeting Regarding Body Cameras

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Florida State College at Jacksonville - North Campus, 4501 Capper Road
Zeke Bryant Auditorium

Town Hall Meeting Regarding Body Cameras

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Edward Waters College,1658 Kings Road
Milne Auditorium

March 7, 2017

Town Hall Meetings Regarding Body Cameras – Complete Schedule

JACKSONVILLE, FL (March 7, 2017) - The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6:30 p.m. at Edward Waters College, Milne Auditorium, 1658 Kings Road.

The remaining five Town Hall meetings will be held:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Florida State College at Jacksonville - North Campus, 4501 Capper Road
Zeke Bryant Auditorium

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Florida State College at Jacksonville - South Campus, 11901 Beach Blvd.
Wilson Center – Lakeside Room

Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Florida State College at Jacksonville - Kent Campus, 3939 Roosevelt Blvd.
Large Auditorium     F128

Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Florida State College at Jacksonville - Downtown Campus, 101 W. State Street
Large Auditorium     A1068

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Florida State College at Jacksonville - Deerwood Campus, 9911 Old Baymeadows Rd.
Room B1204

The public meetings were a commitment of Sheriff Mike Williams, to inform as many citizens as possible about the research that has taken place by JSO on body cameras, and provide an opportunity for questions and comments. The event includes a brief informational presentation by Director of Police Services Tony Davis followed by a public comment session.

Anyone interested in speaking during public comments is asked to arrive in time to register prior to the meeting’s start time.

March 4, 2017

JSO to Hold Town Hall Meetings on Body Cams

JACKSONVILLE, FL (March 4, 2017) - The first two of six planned Town Hall Meetings on the topic of body-worn cameras by JSO officers have been scheduled.

The first will be:
 
TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2017
Edward Waters College, 1658 Kings Road
Milne Auditorium      6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The following week a second Town Hall will be held:

TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017
FSCJ North Campus, 4501 Capper Road
Auditorium    6:30 pm- 8:30 pm

Planning continues for the remaining four town hall meetings. They will take place (one each) on the city’s Westside; Southside; Eastside/Arlington; and Downtown in the coming weeks.

The public meetings were a commitment of Sheriff Mike Williams, to inform as many citizens as possible about the research that has taken place by JSO on body cameras, and provide an opportunity for questions and comments. The event includes a brief informational presentation by Director of Police Services Tony Davis followed by a public comment session.

Anyone interested in speaking during public comments is asked to arrive in time to register prior to the meeting’s start time.

February 22, 2017

Sheriff Continues Stakeholder Meetings About Body Camera Program

“Face-to-face information sharing is key in planning properly for major changes, such as the implementation of a body-worn camera program for Jacksonville’s police. Now that we are far enough along in our research and study of various programs and policies around the country, I am moving forward with meetings and information exchanges like the ones I had yesterday,” said Sheriff Mike Williams.

These information sharing sessions began on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 when the Sheriff presented to the City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee. JSO’s next step is to set up six regional town hall meetings, at times and locations convenient for citizens, so they can receive the same information about JSO’s research and proposed body-worn camera program and where citizens can provide their feedback and input.

“Obviously, as part of my continuing dialogue with civic and business leaders on important issues, having a discussion with three civil rights organizations together specifically about body cameras, was a great opportunity. We are much more aligned in our thinking than detractors would like to believe.

The JSO officers that participate in the pilot program, scheduled to roll out later this spring/early summer 2017, will be testing the hardware, software, and (along with other stakeholders) will evaluate the framework of our policy for its efficacy, as well as any issues they may have with various aspects of the program. That’s the importance of a testing phase,” Williams said.

The Sheriff also continues his discussions with the police union, on the issue of body-worn cameras, to ensure they are included in all aspects of the program’s development.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

JSO Presents Status of Body Cam Research to City Council Committee

JACKSONVILLE, FL (February 7, 2017) - Members of the City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee met this morning in a special meeting and received an update on the research into all the aspects of a body-worn camera program that has been taking place for one year at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Williams was joined by Director of Police Services Tony Davis, and two members of the Body Camera Committee, Lt. Lolita Smith and Lt. Lilly Hotard. Members of the Council PH&S Committee commented on the deliberate and thorough work of the group, and appreciated the information provided to them in both the presentation and during the questions and answers.

Sheriff Williams, in responding to the committee members, reviewed the planned timeline, which includes a Pilot Program to perform technical testing of different models, to begin later this spring and run through the summer. “You can expect in advance of September, our first ‘ask’ for funding for body cameras,” he said.

The results of that testing will be compiled and reviewed by the committee, and used in their formulation of specifications that will be used by the city’s procurement professionals. Simultaneously the committee is studying: technology that is available to include storage, battery capacity, manual and automatic downloading; lessons learned from agencies that have implemented body-worn camera programs; JSO’s infrastructure needs; public records laws; requirements for retention of video; redaction software; and policies that have been implemented around the country.

In discussing with members of the Council about what citizens can expect from a police body-worn camera program, the Sheriff and Director assured the group that the agency will be communicating with the public directly about the program, how it works, and the proposed agency policy, before the program’s implementation begins. Following procurement, implementation and training is expected to take upward of eighteen months, in order to outfit and train all sworn police officers at the Agency.

To view the Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Presentation to Public Health & Safety Committee:

(Viewing this presentation requires PowerPoint Viewer. It may not be available for viewing on some mobile devices/tablets without necessary software.)

November 1, 2016

Sheriff Williams Updates Community on Body Cameras

JACKSONVILLE, FL (November 1, 2016) - In an in-depth interview, Sheriff Mike Williams provides a candid discussion about this technological advancement in policing; what it will mean for Jacksonville; and the many details of JSO’s research and plans to test the products in a pilot program in Spring of 2017. The sheriff also discusses implementation steps, including the agency’s policy, and how the agency will address the privacy and cost concerns before implementation agency-wide.

Please click below to watch the unedited video of Sheriff Mike Williams interview with WJXT/Channel 4 report Vic Micolucci or click on the following links to go to JSO's YouTube Channel to watch: Part I  |  Part II


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