By Broward County Democratic Black Caucus
WHEREAS the issue of Body Cameras is very much a topic of high priority in Florida as well as the nation.
WHEREAS citizens of Broward County and our Broward Government are recognized as Civil Rights Leaders within Florida and the Nation.
WHEREAS issues of police welfare, inappropriate police action, and civil complaints are impacting the greater community of Broward County and require immediate, substantial and innovative action.
WHEREAS Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz supports the use of body camera recordings to facilitate transparency and integrity to help enhance the performance of law enforcement.
WHEREAS Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel supports the purchase of body cameras for 3,000 deputies to be used as standard operating procedure.
WHEREAS studies within municipal areas that have had body cameras for 10 years show complaints against the officers wearing the cameras had been reduced to zero and time spent on paperwork had been reduced by 22.4%, which led to a 9.2% increase in officer time spent on patrol (“50 minutes of a 9-hour shift”).
WHEREAS the benefits recognized in the study included saving an estimated half a million dollars per year due to the following: increased public reassurance; reduced fear of crime in local communities; increased early resolution of criminal cases; reduction in complaints about the police; and more important for our officers in uniform who constantly put themselves in harm’s way, reduced assaults on officers.
WHEREAS 2012 saw the start of a year-long Rialto study in the United States, which continued into early 2013. Amongst the conclusions made from the study were a reduction in the use-of-force and complaints against officers. The report states “the findings suggest more than a 50% reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly ten times more citizens’ complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment”.
WHEREAS the Rialto report suggests providing “robust central IT support” in order to establish and support the digital processes around body cameras.
WHEREAS these digital, back end solutions for body cameras require budgets covering new administrative positions within law enforcement departments as well as additional IT and digital infrastructure.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Broward County Democratic Caucus supports and strongly urges the immediate use of body cameras by both Broward Sheriff’s Office by both Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) and Municipal Police Departments, the inclusion of body cameras in their next budget as well as any provisional budgets and the subsequent approval by all associated county or municipal commissions.