WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (9/24/2015) Delaware State Police and municipal officers will begin testing the use of body cameras throughout Delaware, officials announced Wednesday.
“I am convinced that effective use of body cameras can both help police officers protect our citizens while strengthening trust between law enforcement and all of the communities they serve,” said Gov. Jack Markell in making the announcement of a 30-45 day trial with Lew Schiliro, secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Markell’s office said the pilot program follows a meeting between the governor, Schiliro, state police Col. Nate McQueen and representatives of the NAACP late last year, when participants agreed use of these cameras would be a positive step to support both law enforcement activities and the rights of Delawareans.
“It is my hope that in working with all law enforcement partners that we will be able to develop and implement a consistent statewide policy for the utilization, storage, and management of police body cameras,” said Schiliro. “Uniformity will greatly enhance the objective of this program to ensure the safety of our officers and the public we serve. Being able to conduct a statewide pilot program in Delaware will greatly improve the development of the technology and policy needed to be successful in the deployment of body worn cameras.”
“The Delaware State NAACP is excited about the pilot program initiated by Governor Markell,” said state NAACP President Richard “Mouse” Smith in a statement released by the governor’s office. “We are in agreement this is a necessary addition to our police departments for the protection of the police departments and the community.”
The state has asked camera manufacturers to submit proposals on supplying a dozen body cameras for the trial period:
- Cameras capable of capturing real time activities of a law enforcement officer that is worn on the officer.
- A system capable of retaining the images.
- A technology platform allowing for storage of a data record that does not require the state to dedicate brick and mortar square footage.
“Conducting a body-worn camera pilot project will provide Delaware State Police with a great opportunity to evaluate the impact of body-worn cameras on troopers and on the community,” said McQueen. “It will also provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the different types of technology, evidence management, data storage available and to finalize a uniformed body-worn camera policy.”