November 2015 Newsletter

November 2015

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Body Worn Cameras Lessons Learned

 

The rapid proliferation of the implementation of Body Worn Camera (BWC) systems in law enforcement has generated some excellent “lessons learned” and “how to” information gleaned from the real world experience of many respected professional organizations.

 

The current state of the BWC system arena is very dynamic due to a multitude of reasons such as:

  • An increasing number of departments are deploying BWC systems;
  • Changes in state legislation concerning all aspects of handling BWC system data including FOIA requests, redaction and privacy rights;
  • Formal research and analysis on BWC systems being completed by numerous entities; and
  • BWC system companies responding to law enforcement demand for new functionality, features and system security.

 

Winbourne Consulting Body Worn Cameras Lessons LearnedWith all of this experience, it has become clear to everyone involved with these systems that there is nothing simple about implementing a BWC system. There are multifaceted policy, procedural, legal, technical and operational questions and scenarios that must be thoroughly discussed and vetted for the initiative to be successful. Probably the most critical success factor is to not underestimate the complexity of a BWC system and the level of effort required to effectively implement a BWC system and to achieve the desired goals and objectives. As a result of this complexity, it is imperative to include all relevant stakeholders in the strategic planning and decision making process.

 

Below are a number of examples of the types of issues typically encountered during the implementation of BWC systems. Many departments started with the reasonable basis of making BWC policy and procedure decisions based on a law enforcement operations perspective and a strictly legal interpretation of the law. In doing so, they encountered a number of issues that needed to be resolved to have a truly functioning BWC system. Below are some examples of the issues that can arise and the steps needed to be taken to avoid them.

 

Step 1 – Review of State Legislation and Case Law

A great example for this issue is when should consent by a citizen to be video/audio recorded be required? Most states have a “one-party consent” law that allows the video/audio recording of an individual as long as one of the parties in the conversation has agreed to the recording. Some law enforcement agencies use this law as the foundation that citizen consent is not a legal requirement and therefore does not need to be included in their policy, procedures and training instruction. While the department’s policy may be legally accurate, an important question is does the policy detract from original goal of employing a BWC system if one of the objectives is improving community relations and trust? Could the mandatory BWC recording of certain types of victims (i.e., sexual battery, domestic battery, child abuse, etc.) result in victims not coming forward to report a crime? There are many scenarios in which people believe they have a “right of privacy” whether or not the law supports their perspective. For example:

  • A medical emergency incident in a private residence,
  • Responding to a reported incident in a hospital emergency room (suspect not on scene),
  • Any encounter with a citizen that is not a custodial situation such as a casual encounter during a community policing “walk and talk” or asking a citizen passerby if they witnessed a crime that just occurred or vehicle crash,
  • Recording a juvenile without parent/guardian consent, whether it is a casual encounter or they are a victim, witness or suspect.

 

Step 2 – Engage All Stakeholders

It is important for law enforcement organizations to include all relevant stakeholders in the development of a BWC system policy, procedures and training curriculum to understand their perspective. Relevant stakeholders include:

  • Law Enforcement
  • District/Prosecuting Attorney
  • Public Defender/Private Defense Attorney
  • Civil Rights Organizations
  • Victim Advocacy Organizations
  • First Amendment/Government Transparency Organizations
  • Privacy Rights Organizations
  • Community Organizations
  • Neighborhood and Business Associations
  • News media
  • Law Enforcement Union Organizations

 

Winbourne Consulting Body Worn Cameras Lessons LearnedStep 3 - Collaborate with Criminal Justice System Partners

A successful implementation includes a solution for how BWC data will be exchanged with all criminal justice system partners including the Prosecuting/District Attorney and Public/Private Defense Attorney’s offices, and how it will be displayed and entered into evidence in criminal and civil court depositions and trials. All BWC data associated with a criminal investigation (i.e., all officers on scene) will need to be routinely provided to criminal justice system partners, so a mechanism and process is required to ensure no BWC data is accidently not shared during the legal discovery process.

 

Additionally, departments should ensure they have identified key BWC positions, such as the official Records/Evidence Custodian of the BWC Data and System Administrator, who can expertly testify the BWC system is secure and a BWC video has not been altered in anyway.

 

Finally, departments should collaborate with criminal justice system partners regarding the ownership of BWC system data and what entity has the legal authority to release it. During an active criminal investigation the law enforcement agency typically has control of BWC system data. However, once the case transitions to the prosecution phase, the Prosecuting/District Attorney now has a role in whether or not any BWC data should be released. The same is true for once the case is adjudicated in the court system - What entities will have the legal ability to release BWC system data?

 

Step 4 – Ensure a Digital Media Policy Exists

Another important lesson learned is ensuring the department employs a comprehensive digital media policy that covers all digital media, not just the BWC system. Rules of evidence and chain of custody procedures are the same for all digital media. There is no difference between a confession made on a BWC system in the field and a confession made on a small digital audio recorder used by a detective in an interview room. Both contain digital media that is evidence. Departments should ensure their policies, procedures, training and customs are the same for all digital media to avoid legal challenges and having to answer deposition and trial questions on why all digital media is not maintained in the same manner.

 

Step 5 – Allow For the Use of Off-Duty/Secondary Employment

Detailed planning is required if the utilization of a BWC system will be required for Off-Duty/Secondary Employment assignments. There are many logistical questions including:

  • Ensuring there is sufficient battery life and data storage on a BWC device for the entire Off-Duty/Secondary Employment assignment
  • Will the department incur any overtime expenses if there is a mandate that personnel travel to a police building to pick-up or drop-off a BWC device or upload data at the conclusion of the Off-Duty/Secondary Employment assignment?
  • How will personnel who have not been assigned a BWC device (i.e., Criminal Investigation Division, Training, Administrative/in-house positions, etc.) be trained and obtain a BWC device for an Off-Duty/Secondary Employment assignment?

 

Step 6 – Determine Policy for FOIA/Public Records Requests As They Apply To Body Worn Camera Files

FOIA/Public Records requests continue to be both an important and complicated issue for a variety of reasons. First of all, there is no uniformity from state to state regarding FOIA/Public Records Request legislation. Some states are restrictive in what can be released while other states focus on transparency and are wide-open in the type of information that should be released to the public upon request.

 

There are numerous types of environments that have a direct impact on whether are not a BWC data must be released pursuant to a FOIA/Public Records Request. For example:

  • Did the incident involve criminal activity or some type of law enforcement action versus a non-crime related event (i.e., response to a medical emergency, parking lot traffic crash, check on welfare, non-custodial citizen encounter, etc.)
  • Is the data part of an active criminal investigation and prosecution versus the incident/case has been closed by the law enforcement agency and District/Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
  • Does the BWC data include someone who is protected by other statutes such as juvenile, domestic battery, sexual battery, child abuse and Victims’ Rights legislation? If yes, this may not mean that the entire incident can be denied but redaction must be completed to ensure the privacy rights of the protected individual.

 

Step 7 - Determine What Entity “Owns” the BWC Data.

A law enforcement agency may own BWC data while the incident is an active criminal investigation; however, in some jurisdictions once the incident is transitioned to the criminal justice system, the District/Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may now have a position of whether or not BWC data should be released. Also, once the case is adjudicated by the courts, a citizen can make a FOIA/Public Records Request to multiple entities for the same data – 1. Law Enforcement Agency, 2. District/Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and 3. Clerk of Courts if the BWC data was introduced as evidence. Each entity may have is own criteria for approving/disapproving a FOIA/Public Records Request

 

Departments should ensure they obtain legal advice from both their jurisdiction attorney and the District/Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prior to the development of their FOIA/Public Records Request policy for BWC data. Since legislation in this area is dynamic they should also maintain current knowledge of State Attorney General rulings and impending legislation.

 

An Example of a State Initiative – The State of Colorado Legislature Initiative

In order to effectively assist local law enforcement agencies in the implementation of Body Worn Camera systems, the Colorado State Legislature established a statewide Study Group of people representing many of the above organizations to provide recommendations for the following key questions:

  • When cameras are required to be turned on?
  • When cameras must be turned off?
  • When cameras may be turned off?
  • When notification must be given that a camera is in use?
  • When consent of another person is required for the continued use of a camera?

 

The State of Colorado Study Group process has benefited all stakeholders in their ability to:

  • Learn the different perspectives of the various organizations
  • Discuss the various competing interests a BWC system encounters (i.e., privacy rights versus transparency)
  • Understand of the full level of effort and Total Cost of Ownership to procure, design, configure, train, implement, maintain and support a BWC system
  • Legal implications associated with all aspects of a BWC system

Winbourne Happenings

 

Winbourne Consulting Prince William CountyPrince William County, Virginia selected Winbourne Consulting to assist them in the acquisition of a Body Worn Camera (BWC) System.

 

The tasks involved include:

  • Identify internal and external stakeholder vision, goals, objectives and requirements for a BWC RFP
  • Assessment of any gaps within the Prince William County technical infrastructure
  • Perform an estimation of the Project Total Cost of Ownership – Initial and recurring costs
  • Review Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) BWC system policies and procedures, to include crosswalk PWCPD policy with technology solution
  • Create high level business and technical requirements to include in the scope of work and evaluation criteria of the ensuing RFP for the BWC system Pilot Project
  • Create a BWC system Pilot Project Plan, including implementation and assessment of results
  • Develop Lessons learned from the BWC system Pilot Project
  • Develop an Adjusted, Post-Pilot Estimated Total Cost of Ownership

 

Winbourne Consulting County of San MateoWinbourne Consulting will be assisting San Mateo County, California in performing a CAD Gap Analysis.

The CAD Gap Analysis includes assisting San Mateo County in an analysis of their current system versus other CAD systems including: 1) review of the existing functionality, performance, programming capability and maintenance of the existing CAD system; features, functionality, capability, local control mechanisms and customization of current market CAD systems; 2) provide a report of what functionality would be lost, lost and gained (i.e. gap analysis), and what new functionality would be gained when the replacement occurs; 2) generate the estimated procurement costs (range) of a fault tolerant, multi-jurisdictional, multi-class CAD and general requirements of the County’s consolidated Emergency 911 Dispatch Center.

 

Industry Events

 

FEBRUARY 21-24, 2016

ARLINGTON, VA

 

HTTP://WWW.NENA.ORG/

 

911 Goes to Washington9-1-1 Goes to Washington brings together hundreds of 9-1-1 professionals from around the country with policy leaders in our nation's capital to explore and discuss today's most pressing 9-1-1 and emergency communications issues. 9-1-1 Goes to Washington is the only event where you can learn about the policy challenges facing public safety and take immediate action to address them through dialog with your elected and appointed officials.

 

March 15-16 2016

Kansas City, MO

 

APCO Emerging Technology ForumThe Emerging Technology Forum is a two-day event created to meet the needs of public safety communications professionals who want an overview of technologies that are on the horizon and address the challenges of the ever-changing landscape of public safety communications

 

https://www.apcointl.org/events.html

Articles of Interest

 

DHS Outlines Cybersecurity Research in Twitter Chat

 

As communications, and other technology, becomes more connected, cybersecurity becomes a bigger issue. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate hosted a Twitter chat Oct. 21 to discuss distributed denial of service attacks and what can be done about them. During the chat, the department outlined the efforts of its Distributed Denial of Services Defenses program to improve cybersecurity for mission-critical organizations. DHS highlighted a collaboration with Galois that is looking at comparing attack data from different organizations. By comparing the data, DHS hopes to find where the attacks are coming from and cut off that traffic.

 

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/13551

 

 

TASER, Microsoft Introduce Integrated Camera and Digital-Evidence Management Solution

 

TASER will integrate its Evidence.com solution and Axon camera systems with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and Windows 10 devices, providing the function of digital-evidence management, data analysis and real-time decision support that can be delivered on an array of rugged mobile devices. The integration of TASER’s public-safety camera systems and Microsoft’s cloud platform will streamline the evidence-intake process and add mobility, which enables the flexibility to process data anytime and on any device.

 

http://urgentcomm.com/video/taser-microsoft-introduce-integrated-camera-and-digital-evidence-management-solution

 

 

Wearable Gateway Bridges Responder Devices

Mutualink is trying to address disconnects the emergency responders deal with during an emergency, and improve emergency responders’ situational awareness with its Wearable Smart Gateway. The WSG reduces response times by bridging critical equipment such as body cameras, locator beacons, handheld sensors and devices transmitting voice, data, video, sensor and location information through a secure wide-area network.

 

https://gcn.com/articles/2015/10/23/wearable-gateway.aspx?admgarea=TC_STATELOCAL

 

 

DPSCR Location Summit Identifies Z Axis, Maps as Critical Focus Areas

 

Two primary focus are as emerged from the Public Safety Communications Research summit on location-based services held last month in Boulder, Colorado. The first area of focus is developing technology that can accurately determine z-axis coordinates for first responders. The second focus area is the ability to easily generate useful maps of buildings for responders. Both focus areas can work together to create situational awareness at the scene of an incident, allowing potential x, y and z axis information to correspond with specific hallways and rooms located on a map.

 

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/13642