The City of Hollywood’s Police Department has been awarded $1.7 million in federal funding for 250 body worn cameras (BWCs) and associated infrastructure and equipment in support of a new program within the Department. As part of the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by President Biden, funding for this program was co-sponsored by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson as part of their 2022 Community Project Funding Appropriation Requests.
“Thanks to the efforts by Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and Wilson, the City will now be able to implement a BWC program that is expected to provide enhanced transparency between police officers and the public, and quicker resolution to cases via this additional form of evidence,” says Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy
Through this funding, in the first year the Department is expected to purchase 250 BWCs, and the additional necessary hardware, software and infrastructure to launch the program. Four (4) new staff members, including a Sworn Sergeant and three civilian Digital Evidence Specialists will be hired to administer the program. Full deployment and ongoing operational and administration costs associated with the program is estimated at approximately $572,000 annually, which will be funded through the City’s budget.
“As an agency, we are committed to exploring technology that will bring forth the high-quality public service expected of police officers and convey a sense of procedural justice that our community expects and our mission states,” says Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien. “The BWC will be an additional set of eyes on the scene that can then later be used in training sessions as an uncensored look at a response to unfolding events.”
The estimated time to complete full deployment of the program is 8-12 months.