The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) announced the signing of a contract with Utility to begin outfitting officers with body-worn cameras. The contract outlines the equipping of 1,100 officers who respond to 9-1-1 calls with body-worn technology. Rollout is slated to begin in the coming weeks. The signing of the contract follows a second, stakeholder-driven pilot of body-worn camera technology on IMPD, as well as an investment of $1.2 million dedicated in the City-County Budget to fund this program by Mayor Joe Hogsett and the City-County Council, announced last year.
“After a thorough, research-driven process of gathering community feedback and testing available technology, we are now one step closer to the start of a body-worn camera program on the IMPD. But this program represents just one of the ways IMPD officers continue working to build community trust. We remain dedicated to serving Indianapolis neighborhoods every day, building stronger relationships with residents that allow us to work together to make our city a safer place for everyone,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.
“Last year, we partnered with the City-County Council to identify the funds needed to launch this program following a period of community feedback. Peaceful protests in recent weeks have renewed calls to equip our officers with this important technology,” said Mayor Hogsett. “The signing of this contract represents a years-long, significant investment in transparency and accountability that will benefit both our IMPD officers and the residents they serve.”
The 5.5-year, $9.2 million contract will equip 1,100 officers with Utility body-worn camera technology. The contract covers the costs of leasing the technology, installation of the equipment, upgrades to the technology after three years, maintenance and local support to address any technology issues, and cloud-based video storage. This technology allows for the decentralized uploading of footage as well as automated recording triggers that will turn the cameras on in certain situations, including:
- Being within 500 feet of a dispatched run
- Drawing the gun from its holster
- Beginning to run
- Lying flat for 10 seconds
- Violently shaking, such as during a fight
- Activating lights and/or sirens in the car
- Unlocking the shotgun rack
The 1,100 officers being outfitted with body-worn cameras in this initial rollout are those that respond to 9-1-1 calls, including beat officers, street supervisors, and special units. Installation of the technology will begin in the coming weeks with officers on IMPD’s East District, the busiest district in the city, with a goal of equipping 10 officers per day.
IMPD has assigned Lieutenant Scott Kulig to oversee the body worn camera program and is in the process of hiring civilians to manage, review, and redact footage. These positions will cost the City $159,000 in addition to the contract with Utility. These funds were included in the 2020 City-County Budget along with the initial $1.2 million dedicated for the technology rollout.
Last year, IMPD conducted a second pilot program to guide implementation of body worn cameras on the department. In the five years since a 2014 pilot did not result in the development of a permanent program, vendor offerings had increased, the City had invested millions of dollars in upgrading public safety technology infrastructure, and body worn camera products had advanced, significantly driving down costs. The second, larger pilot was stakeholder-driven and included a community-facing survey administered by IUPUI, a series of in-person community meetings, and a technology trial on the busiest shift on the largest IMPD districts.
The department continues to analyze national best practices and incorporate these with feedback from last year’s pilot program to finalize a body worn camera policy for IMPD that maximizes the benefits of the technology for both officers and the community. A final policy will be made available to the public before rollout of the technology to officers begins.