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Law Enforcement, Body Cameras, and RFP’s
Amid allegations of mistreatment, brutality, and other inappropriate behaviors, law enforcement agencies across the country have been under heavy scrutiny from the public, the media, and even some lawmakers. As a result, law enforcement has been increasingly utilizing body camera technology for their officers. Law enforcement defends worn body cameras arguing the technology increases transparency, demonstrates accountability, and improves evidence collection methods.

Opponents, however, argue the growing use of police body cameras represents a new wave of public surveillance that threatens longstanding democratic values and civil liberties. Many are concerned about the privacy implications of such technology. The debate has gone back and forth in many state legislatures as well as in Congress to determine when and if police body camera footage should ever be released publicly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has decided that with the right safeguards in place, police body cameras can be very useful to police and communities. They recommend among other things that individuals be informed of the recording devices and that officers themselves are not given the discretion of starting, stopping, and manipulating recordings. Considering these restrictions, it is hard to deny that police body cameras can offer some safety and security to communities that have developed raw, strained, and tense relationships with their local law enforcement agencies.

Body cameras may just be the next generation of law enforcement technology and many prominent political leaders are advocating for their use. In fact, in May of 2015, President Barack Obama announced that his administration would award more than twenty million dollars in grants to local police departments for the purchase of body camera technology. As these funds have been dispersed, RFP’s have flooded out of law enforcement agencies hoping to acquire the latest, cutting-edge products and related services. For instance, in January 2015, the City of Tampa, Florida awarded a more than $80,000 contract to TASER International, Inc. to provide body cameras as well as a digital evidence management system. And in February of 2015, the City of Bellevue, Washington awarded $182,885 to the QueTel Corporation for body camera hardware and software as well as configuration and programming services.

Law enforcement agencies, police departments, and sheriff’s offices are always looking to better serve their communities with more advanced and applied science. They and many communities are demanding that their officers be equipped with new, state of the art technology and software designed to keep a better record of police action and citizen behavior. Information technology companies and other electronics vendors must look no further than FindRFP to be able to sort through the increasing number of contracts related to worn body camera devices and their related IT infrastructure and find opportunities of interest.

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