MIRAMAR – On March 27, 2019 the Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis made a motion to implement a body-worn camera program for the Miramar Police Department (the “Department’).
The motion was seconded and a majority vote led to the long-awaited body camera program becoming law in the City of Miramar. The body camera program was first proposed by Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis back in 2014, with petitions being signed subsequent to this, but though a study was conducted the program never came to fruition.
On March 30, 2019, a pilot program was established that began with twelve officers to develop operational processes and a policy for a full camera program.
On July 10, 2019 a workshop was convened with the Commission to present the proposal of a full program for consideration and approval.
The proposal consisted of outfitting 147 first line officers and sergeants with body-worn cameras for a five-year period with a cost of $2,501,746.52, with none of the initial funds coming out of tax payer dollars but from the Police Trust Fund.
The Commission approved the proposed program and funding sources for the five-year period. The Department has already procured the camera equipment and infrastructure items.
“I am happy that our City has joined the other cities around the country in the utilization of the body camera technology. This technology will further assist in providing transparency in our law enforcement efforts within our community,” said Vice Mayor, Alexander P. Davis.
“Just recently during the pilot phase of the program we were able to see the value of the body worn camera by one of our officers. A situation that could have be made much worse had it not been for the quick actions of our officer and the fact that he was wearing the camera. In this instance there was no loss of life and the suspect was identified and apprehended,” Vice Mayor goes on to say.
The City Administration feels it is a win-win for the Department and the residents of the City.
Chief Dexter Williams stated that he will be making a Public Service Announcement video regarding the implementation of body worn cameras worn by officers of the Department. The video will be posted on the Department’s website and will be pushed out through the Department’s social media platforms. Community Resource Officers will discuss the implementation of the program at HOA meetings over the course of the next few months.
Additionally, Vice Mayor Alexandra P. Davis will be hosting a ‘CommUnity and Cops’ forum on October 22nd which will include discussions on many topics of Law Enforcement to include the use of body cameras.