Body-worn camera systems will also build community trust, which is essential to effectively serving a city of Portland's size, diversity, and complexity. Body-worn cameras will provide police officers and community members with greater accountability and a better understanding of critical events of public concern. Additionally, body-worn camera systems will facilitate fair and transparent adjudication of criminal and civil matters.
PPB evaluated and scored four vendors who responded to the RFP. After reviewing the vendors written responses and conducting demonstrations of the top two vendors, PPB selected Axon for the pilot test.
Body-Worn Camera Pilot Phase
The policy discussions between the City and the PPA have concluded, and the policy was approved by City Council on April 26, 2023. This policy was tested during the pilot, which ran from Monday, August 21, 2023, and through October 19, 2023.
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) body-worn camera (BWC) project officially concluded the pilot phase on the evening of October 19, 2023. Since August, members from PPB’s Focused Intervention Team, Central Precinct Patrol, and Central Neighborhood Response Team/Bike Squad had been testing the cameras on loan from Axon. Overall, members adjusted quickly to using the additional piece of equipment.
Over the course of the weeks-long pilot project, the body-worn cameras captured a total of 35,831 pieces of evidence. Of the 35,831 pieces of evidence, there were 29,869 videos recorded by the BWCs and another 5,962 photos or videos either taken by officers or submitted by community members using an app. In total, the evidence is 12.73 terabytes of information.
This final (pass/fail) phase of the RFP was scored by a team of Officers, Sgts, Detectives, Records, Training, and IT Staff. The team reviewed comments from the pilot users and discussed their experiences with the equipment and software. The scoring team unanimously passed the pilot and Procurement closed the RFP with Axon as the selected vendor for full implementation. City Council approved awarding the contract to Axon on Nov 29th.
PPB is now working on the contract with Axon for full implementation and preparing all facilities for the additional infrastructure needs of the system. We anticipate training and rolling out the program in Summer 2024.
PPB is eager to fully implement the body-worn camera program seeing as these cameras play a pivotal role in 21st century policing. The cameras will enhance the community-police relationship, provide all stakeholders with greater accountability and a better understanding of critical events. In addition, the cameras will facilitate fair and transparent adjudication across criminal and civil matters.