The Chesterfield Police Department has begun the process of training and equipping its officers with Body Worn Cameras (BWCs). The department believes that it has developed a culture where its employees provide a high level of customer service, value the constitution, practice fair & impartial policing, and use force only when necessary. The department believes that the actions of its officers are a matter of public record and welcomes the opportunity to enhance transparency through the use of BWCs.
The department has entered into an agreement with Axon, as part of their National Field Trial program, to equip 85 Chesterfield Police officers with BWCs free of charge for one year. At the end ofthe year, the department is free to sign on with Axon or switch to another provider with no penalty.
All Chesterfield officers assigned to Patrol, Special Enforcement, Traffic, School Resource and
Investigations will be provided BWCs and will record the majority of their interactions with the public. The first few officers began wearing the cameras this past Tuesday after receiving
training on the department's BWC policy and the operation of the cameras. The remainder of
officers will receive their training within the next two weeks. The implementation of the BWCs into the School Resource Officer program will be delayed slightly while the department awaits clarification on the release of video to the public for certain types of incidents within schools related to possible privacy issues.
The much anticipated implementation of BWCs in the field has been well accepted by
department personnel. The long term goal of this program is to provide a higher degree of
transparency to the public which we hope in turn will foster trust and a more positive
relationship with the community. BWCs will allow the department the opportunity to confirm the high quality and impartial manner in which our officers perform on a daily basis while also serving as an additional check and balance towards assuring that such quality service continues.