Body Worn Camera - Project Updates

The Rochester Police Department’s Body Worn Camera (BWC) Project Team completed a Request for Proposal process to select a vendor to provide BWCs for the City of Rochester. On January 19, 2016 City Council authorized the City to enter into an agreement with this vendor. This has begun the implementation phase of our project, and the BWC team will regularly post project updates on this page.

Please check back regularly for updates.

Project Update – December 2016

  • The Rochester Police Department’s body-worn program is now staffed with three full time employees; (1) Lieutenant, (1) Technology Application Coordinator and (1) Digital Media Specialist.
  • A total of 261 cameras have been assigned to police personnel.
  • Clinton Section, Central Section and Goodman Section are completely trained and deploying cameras on every work shift.
  • Trainers for Lake Section and Genesee Section have been issued cameras.
  • Lake Section and Genesee Section will start training with body-worn cameras in January 2017. It is expected that training will be completed in February of 2017.
  • Upon completion of Lake Section and Genesee Section training, Special Operations Division will begin deployment of the body-worn cameras.
  • Special Operations Division is comprised of Tactical Officers, K-9 Officers, School Resource Officers and the Traffic Enforcement Unit.
  • Our goal is to complete the first phase of body-worn camera training and deployment (about 504 cameras) around the end of March 2017.
  • Once this is completed, all Officers, Sergeants and Lieutenants assigned to the Patrol Division will be using body-worn cameras full time.

Project Update – October 14, 2016   

  • The Deployment of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) in the Clinton Section was completed on October 7, 2016.  104 BWC’s are now being worn by officers and supervisors in the Clinton Section.
  • The BWC Manual and appendixes were updated on October 12, 2016 to reflect the lessons learned during the Clinton Section deployment process.  In particular:
    • We have clarified that enforcement activity includes both arrests and prisoner transports.
    • We have provided a process for addressing technology malfunctions (Section VII.B), to include the documentation of the malfunction in Department reports.
    • We have added a retention category for quality of service inquiries, which represent 911 calls to supervisors inquiring about the service provided by officers during calls for service.
    • You can review the updated manual and appendixes on the web, and may also compare the changes with past versions that will remain available on the City website.
  • On October 10, 2016 we began to train in Central Section.  As of October 14, 2016 there will be 6 individuals in Central Section who will begin to use the BWC during their normal patrol activity.  They will familiarize themselves with the technology and then assist in training the remaining members of Central Section. 
  • General training of the remaining 50 officers and supervisors in Central Section will begin on October 24, 2016 and is expected to be completed by November 4, 2016. 
  • We are in the process of completing the installation of equipment for the Goodman and Lake Section Offices.  Training and deployment of BWC’s is expected to occur in November for Goodman Section and December for Lake Section.  

Project Update – September 1, 2016 

  • The schedule for Sections  to train and receive body-worn cameras is: Clinton Section, Central Section, Goodman Section, Lake Section, Genesee Section and Special Operations Section;
    • The Rochester Police Department (RPD) is working towards a goal of having all Police Sections equipped with body-worn cameras in the first quarter of 2017, a deployment of about 504 cameras. 
  • Currently 33 Police personnel from Clinton Section are actively using body-worn cameras, and we are working towards full implementation in Clinton Section by September 30th, 2016.  At that time Clinton Section will have over 100 full time users of body-worn cameras.
  • We are starting to collect and store video recordings from the Clinton Section Officers who are using them.  For example, with 33 cameras deployed, in a recent eight-day period we collected about 138 gigabytes of data, which equates to about 96.6 hours of recordings.
  • Some technical problems have been encountered, especially with software related to tagging videos in the police car.  We are continuing to work with our vendor to resolve these issues and improve the process.
    • This software allows a body-worn camera user to place the report number, address, and a classification code on the video file directly from the computer in the car.  This is important to RPD’s processes for storing and searching for video files.
    • This process minimizes the amount of time body-worn camera users are out of their patrol areas. 
  • We are still working on integrating the District Attorney’s (DA’s) Office with our body-worn camera system to retrieve crime-related videos for case prosecution.  In the meantime, RPD is providing needed recordings to the District Attorney’s Office.
    • We hope to have the DA’s office on-line within the next several months.
    • This process is also technology-driven and requires integration of the City of Rochester and Monroe County’s respective IT systems.
    • Currently any requests for video are being processed through the Rochester Police Department’s Body-Worn Camera Manager. 
  • RPD has hired a Technical Applications Coordinator to assist with the Body-Worn Camera Program.
    • This person is responsible for maintaining and making improvements to the body-worn camera application, and has extensive experience in managing computer applications. 
  • Currently the Rochester Police Department is reviewing applications for a Media Specialist position to work in the BWC program.
    • The Rochester Police Department is hoping to have this position filled by the end of September. 
  • The Rochester Police Department continues to meet with the Locust Club (Labor Union) to discuss labor items related to the BWC program.   

Project Update – June 6, 2016

  • The body-worn camera manual has been updated based on both public and police personnel comments and suggestions. Click here for the updated version.
  • The implementation schedule has been adjusted to reflect additional time needed to integrate the body-worn  camera software with the City of Rochester IT systems at the Police Sections. We still plan to begin deployment in     July, and complete the deployment of 504 cameras by January 2017 as previously announced.
  • Docking stations that will upload video collected by police officers have been installed in the Clinton Section.
  • Docking stations and software that will allow officers to add information to videos collected via a body-worn camera has been installed in patrol vehicles assigned to Clinton Section.
  • The body-worn camera Program Manager is working with the Section Captains and NSC Lieutenants to present     information at selected community meetings.  Click here for updated dates and locations of these meetings.
  • Periodic Body-Worn Camera Project updates are being sent to the US Department of Justice as part of fulfilling     requirements for the grant that was received to partially fund this project.

Project Update – March 30, 2016

  • During January, City Council authorized the City to enter into an agreement with Municipal Emergency Services (MES) for BWC equipment (Ordinance Number 2016-35).
  • Shortly after receiving council approval we (the BWC project managers) met with MES representatives to discuss contract terms and began to outline a common project schedule.
  • On February 16, 2016 an agreement was signed between the City of Rochester and MES for the BWC program.
  • Members of MES and RPD have begun to meet weekly to outline new work, responsibilities, and review the status of ongoing tasks. The project schedule has been updated to reflect tasks assigned to MES.
  • RPD has met multiple times with members of the Rochester Police Locust Club Inc. (labor union) to discuss policy items, and additional meetings are scheduled during March.
  • We have completed two phone conferences with representatives of the Department of Justice who are responsible for assisting those receiving grant funds with BWC projects.
  • We are in the process of submitting orders for computer servers necessary for the BWC system, and we remain on schedule for the first deployment of BWCs in our first police section during July 2016.

 Project Update – September 2017 

  •  July 1, 2016 through March 1, 2017; trained and deployed 500 Body-Worn Cameras to all patrol Lieutenants, Sergeants and Officers. 
  •  Hired two civilian employees to help with the administration of the Body-Worn Camera Program. 
    1.  Technical Applications Coordinator: responsible for the overall technology related to keeping the BWC Program online which includes, downloading all videos that are collected and making sure all data is successfully uploaded to our secure servers 
    2.  Digital Media Specialist: responsible for all burning of video that is needed through FOIL, attorney or other source requests.  Also responsible for any editing or redacting of video related to a request. 
  • Conducted supervisor compliance training to track and ensure that users of the body-worn cameras are activating them according to policy and procedure. 
  •  Developed a procedure to randomly check street stops and vehicle stops for compliance use of the body-worn camera according to policy. 
  •  Incorporated a 24 hour body-worn camera replacement system to ensure that all RPD personnel are equipped with a functional camera while on patrol. 
  •  Continue to work with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) they complete their study of the Rochester Police Department’s implementation and deployment of body-worn cameras.  Click HERE to view reports completed by RIT. 
  •  Beginning to collect data on the use of the body-worn cameras by Rochester Police Department patrol personnel as it relates to videos collected and storage used.  Click HERE to see the data.