On June 18th, 2018, the Forest City Police Department went live with our department’s body camera program. FCPD received a Body Worn Camera Grant (State Appropriation) through the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the NC Governor’s Crime Commission to pay for half of the equipment cost, service contract and data storage fees for the first year of the program. FCPD has entered into a 5-year service contract with Axon (formerly known as Taser) for equipment, equipment replacement and data storage by utilizing Axon’s Evidence.com storage solution.
In the spring of 2016 during the budget workshop process, Town Council expressed interest in the police department having body cameras and for the department to seek grant funding. The process began in the fall of 2016 in the creation of a Body Camera Policy Committee. The committee was comprised of departmental staff, our town attorney and a Town Council representative. The created body worn camera policy incorporated the North Carolina General Statutes pertaining to body cameras and follows the policy recommendations by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and North Carolina Association of Police Chiefs. The body camera policy was required prior to grant submission.
In December 2016, FCPD completed a grant submission to the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission to acquire body camera funding. In September of 2017, we received our formal letter of grant approval from the North Carolina Governors Crime Commission. However, no federal funds were appropriated to fund the grant. On March 23rd, 2017, FCPD received notification from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety of the award of the state-appropriated grant. Since that time, FCPD has purchased and received the body worn cameras for our staff and we have completed body worn camera training held by Axon at FCPD.
Chief Jackson commented, “Our staff and I are excited to have this tool available to us. We believe our body camera program will enhance our police services offered to our community in the prosecution of offenders, improvement in police accountability and reinforce the public’s trust.
Click here to access the Request for Disclosure of Law Enforcement Video Recordings Form.
Click here to access the Body Worn Camera Policy.