As one part of the Police Department’s commitment to enhancing its community policing model, Northglenn police officers have added body-worn cameras as part of their standard uniform.
All officers will be required to wear cameras in the field, with the exception of undercover officers. And this fall, all patrol vehicles will also be equipped with cameras.
The goal – increase accountability and transparency.
The body-worn cameras have technology to automatically activate if an officer removes their gun from their holster, or activates their Taser. When the in-car cameras come online, the cameras will automatically turn on when certain actions happen, such as the car door opens or the emergency equipment is fully activated.
If any of these actions occur, the technology also activates any other body-worn camera within a 30-foot distance.
“The four pillars of the Northglenn Police Department are Character, Courage, Commitment and Competence,” said Police Chief James S. May, Jr. “By having these state-of-the-art systems, we can make sure our officers are acting with character and courage, and this added level of transparency shows our commitment to serve and protect the community.”
This is a proactive step for the department. Passage of Colorado Senate Bill 20-217 requires all law enforcement officers in the state, with the exception of undercover officers, to have body cameras by July 1, 2023. Not only is the department ahead of this timeline by more than 24 months, the in-car cameras are not required.
The cost for implementation is roughly $280,000 per year for 10 years. Funds were included in the 2021 Budget.
The cameras are just one part of the Police Department’s evolution to the Community Co-Production Policing (CCPP) philosophy of law enforcement. The goals of CCPP are to reduce fractionalism, create transparency and balance influence between the officers and the residents they serve. The idea is that this evolution will lead to increased community trust, enhanced public safety and improved racial/diversity equity.
This innovative community-oriented philosophy came in response to the 360 Assessment completed by outside consultants in 2020. The Police Department is now working on a new strategic plan based on the assessment.
Also as part of this shift to CCPP, the city launched the CCPP Advisory Board. This group of residents, community safety representatives and community service providers assist the department with the implementation of the CCPP philosophy.
Various CCPP and DISE (Diversity, Inclusivity, and Social Equity) Board members assisted with the Deputy Chief hiring process by participating in one of the assessment panels. The community was invited to submit questions for the online question and answer session with the position finalists. You can view this presentation at www.northglenn.org/deputychiefforum.
“Our community let us know that they wanted deeper engagement with the Police Department,” said May. “We can do this by embracing the principles of Community Co-Production Policing.”