Service Before Self, Honor Above All

Police Body-Worn Cameras

Body-Worn Camera Information

The Arlington Police Department introduces the Police Body-Worn Camera Program.  Cameras are being issued to sworn officers with the rank of lieutenant and below. The public began seeing the new cameras in December 2017.  They are securely mounted to the uniform. The department anticipates full implementation to occur by March 2018. The body-worn camera program is another tool for officers as they interact with the public.

Body-worn cameras have become more common place in law enforcement agencies across the country. From October 2015 to March 2016, the Arlington Police Department participated in a six-month pilot program with the Police Executive Research Forum to evaluate the organizational impact of body-worn cameras and its effect on community trust.

During the pilot,  researchers contacted individuals whose interactions with officers ranged from traffic stops to burglary offenses. Those individuals were asked to share their perceptions about police body-worn cameras. Their responses concluded that body worn cameras cannot build trust with citizens because they can never replace dialogue and relationships. This research was grounded through thorough testing and evaluation of various types of camera equipment and an analysis of data storage requirements and personnel support needs. The experience gained during the project proved invaluable.

In 2015, the State Legislature approved Senate Bill 158 to support the deployment of body-worn cameras for law enforcement agencies. The bill also made it possible for police departments to apply for grant funding to help support the cost of implementing a body worn camera program. In September 2016, the City of Arlington was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Office of the Governor. These funds, in addition to those allocated from the annual operating budget, support the implementation, operations and ongoing maintenance of the APD Body-Worn Camera program.

In June 2017, the Arlington City Council was provided with an update on the program, which included an overview of the product evaluation process to determine what the market had available that would operationalize our program. A vendor was recommended and on June 27, 2017, the City Council authorized the Arlington Police Department to negotiate and execute a body-worn camera contract with Utility Associates.

Additional Resources

Watch the videos below for more about the Body-Worn Camera program: