Law enforcement from across the D.C. area are meeting with body camera vendors Tuesday and Wednesday to explore implementing them in local jurisdictions.
Police are examining new body camera technologies and looking into the complexities of storing and securing all the data.
There’s been a growing push for more transparency by police. Law enforcement from Fairfax County and Prince William County are now moving forward with their own body camera projects.
“This is the next big thing for law enforcement," said Capt. Robert Blakely, who is helping Fairfax County Police lead the effort while acknowledging it’s complicated. “It’s how the departments deploy the cameras and what they do with the data," he added.
Police departments across have the option of using several different types of body camera, but storing the hours and hours of video data is the challenge.
Steve Petruzzo’s GreenTec-USA is among the many companies that thinks it may have a solution. It's pitching storage capabilities that hold the original video quality that's untouched by any officer.
“Digital evidence has to be recorded in a way and handled in a way such that it’s immutable, you can’t be challenged in court that the data’s been deleted or modified or edited or altered," Petruzzo said.
Green Tec-USA says its business is booming after only two years in the body camera market.
“Need for video and need for evidence is probably going to be around for a long time," said Richard Detore, Green Tec CEO. "We’re going to need to be able to manage it and deal with it and more importantly protect it.”
Detore said cyberhacks are something they feel confident they can thwart.
Prince William County Police is among the agencies funded to move ahead. The department’s IT manager, Lt. Javid Elahi, is looking at several vendors to start testing.
Northern Virginia Police Body Camera Policies:
- Fairfax City: Funded; initial stages of testing
- Prince William County: Funded; meeting with vendors
- Fairfax County: Not yet funded; meeting with vendors
- Fredericksburg: Began using last year (2014)
- ArlingtonCounty: Not immediately pursuing body cams
- Alexandria: Not immediately pursuing body cams
- Loudoun County: No response