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Officer Buy In: We’ve heard we should use our body-worn camera footage for training purposes. Won’t our officers feel they are being monitored?
When adopting body-worn cameras, some officers do express concerns about footage being used in disciplinary action. It’s important to take these concerns seriously and be up front about how footage will be used within your department. If you intend to use footage for training purposes, it is best to keep the review of the footage out of internal affairs. Use review of the footage to identify areas of strength and weaknesses for your entire department and use those incidents to develop a training plan. Be sure your BWC policy is clear about all the ways you might use footage, such as training, disciplinary review, and release to the public.
Officer Buy: Our officers are resistant to adopting body-worn cameras due to the extra workload. What can we do to help them see the benefits?
It’s common for officers to wonder how the new technology will make their jobs easier. Be honest about any workload additions while also highlighting parts of their job that will be easier. In addition, if you have officers who are volunteering to pilot the cameras, take advantage of their willingness. Often these officers see the value of the program and will sell the concept to their fellow officers who are more skeptical.
Officer Buy: My department would like to adopt body-worn cameras. What’s the best approach to getting our officers on board?
Officers, like any other employee, want to feel included in decisions that impact their work. The sooner you bring your rank-and-file officers and the unions into the planning process, the better. Including officers in selecting cameras and creating policies around their use will help them to feel heard and allow for quicker adoption.