HPD asks Coun­cil to fund body cams

Costs in­clude up to $2.5 mil­lion for gear and $4 mil­lion per year for data stor­age

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - LOCAL & BUSINESS - By Gor­don Y.K. Pang gor­don­pang@starad­ver­tiser.com

Honolulu po­lice of­fi­cials Tues­day urged City Coun­cil mem­bers to pro­vide fund­ing for a per­ma­nent, de­part­men­twide body-worn cam­era pro­gram.

A full roll­out for a de­part­men­twide pro­gram would cost be­tween $2 mil­lion and $2.5 mil­lion for equip­ment, said HPD Capt. Rade Vanic, body cam­era project man­ager. That would in­clude the cam­eras, sup­port­ing hard­ware, in­fra­struc­ture up­grades and ded­i­cated power lines, he said.

That’s in ad­di­tion to the es­ti­mated $3.5 mil­lion to $4 mil­lion needed an­nu­ally to store the data and fund per­son­nel to man­age the stor­age, Vanic told the Coun­cil’s Pub­lic Health, Safety and Wel­fare Com­mit­tee. Pre­vi­ously, HPD of­fi­cials said stor­ing and man­ag­ing the data were their big­gest cost con­cerns, al­though Tues­day was the first time they at­tached a dol­lar fig­ure to those con­cerns. Vanic said it’s also likely that HPD will want to up­grade its cam­eras roughly ev­ery five years, which is about the es­ti­mated life of the cam­eras and also typ­i­cally the life of a con­tract with a body cam­era com­pany. “Other­wise, we run the risk of us­ing out­dated tech­nol­ogy,” he said. HPD wants to be able to pro­vide a body cam­era to ev­ery uni­formed of­fi­cer who comes into fre­quent con­tact with the pub­lic, Vanic said. “That’s any­where be­tween 1,400 and 1,500 of­fi­cers.” New HPD Chief Su­san Bal­lard, mak­ing her first ap­pear­ance be­fore Coun­cil mem­bers, asked for their sup­port on the body cam­era pro­gram.

“We are go­ing to move ahead with it, but ob­vi­ously we’re go­ing to need your sup­port so far as the mone­tary is­sues be­cause if we don’t have the money to sup­port the pro­gram, and it’s not done cor­rectly, it can ac­tu­ally do more harm than good,” Bal­lard said. A ma­jor­ity of HPD of­fi­cers “see the value of the pro­gram,” she said. Of­fi­cers will be al­lowed to view their own recorded videos for work pur­poses but will not able to al­ter them, Vanic said.

A long-term ven­dor has not been se­lected.

A pi­lot project in­volv­ing a 30-day field-test­ing pe­riod us­ing cam­eras from law en­force­ment tech­nol­ogy

Su­san Bal­lard:

HPD’s new chief says a ma­jor­ity of of­fi­cers “see the value” of us­ing body-worn cam­eras ———

com­pany Axon got un­der­way Nov. 6, Vanic said. Par­tic­i­pat­ing are 77 to 85 of­fi­cers: 44 from the third watch (2 to 11 p.m.) of the Cen­tral Honolulu Pa­trol District, about 29 of­fi­cers from the Traf­fic Di­vi­sion’s Night En­force­ment Unit, six from HPD’s morn­ing mo­tor­cy­cle de­tail and four to five of­fi­cers at the po­lice academy, he said.

Axon is pick­ing up the cost of the pi­lot pro­gram. A pre-pi­lot, “con­trolled test­ing” pro­gram was ini­ti­ated with one body-worn cam­era ven­dor in Septem­ber. “We dis­cov­ered there were some is­sues re­gard­ing up­load­ing, stor­age, down­load­ing (and) redac­tion,” Vanic said. The ven­dor could not re­solve the is­sue, and test­ing ceased, he said.

The body cam­eras are placed on an of­fi­cer’s shirt front. HPD’s nine-page body cam­era pol­icy calls for the cam­eras to be turned on when­ever of­fi­cers re­spond to an active call for ser­vice or ini­ti­ate

The body-worn cam­era pro­gram, we are go­ing to move ahead with it, but ob­vi­ously we’re go­ing to need your sup­port so far as the mone­tary is­sues be­cause if we don’t have the money to sup­port the pro­gram and it’s not done cor­rectly, it can ac­tu­ally do more harm than good.”

Su­san Bal­lard Honolulu Po­lice De­part­ment chief

con­tact with the pub­lic. Videos are up­loaded at the end of a shift and then re­tained for at least 13 months.

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