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Surge in Body Worn Camera Requests from Law Enforcement and Government Agencies: The Latest

Author: Jim Ward, VP New Business Development, BidPrime

Copyright: 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

Date: 2016-02-26
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323% Rise in Number of Body Worn Camera Bids from 2014 to 2015


A random sampling of some of the latest Body Worn Cameras available for law enforcement, security, and public safety agenices.


One year ago, I spearheaded the research project at BidPrime, "Local Law Enforcement Agencies Grappling With the Purchase of Body Worn Cameras." Post our original review, we were pleased to note others in procurement, government bid services, and elsewhere got involved and weighed in with their own research and opinions to further stimulate dialogue and provide information on this issue.

Being a topic that continues to be towards the forefront of the news cycle and a technology increasingly in demand by law enforcement, government, military, and other entities, Bill Culhane, from BidPrime, and I collaborated on the following update to our original analysis. We submit that most will agree that body worn camera technology is no longer a “recent addition to the US public lexicon.”

The demand for this technology more than tripled from 2014 through the end of 2015: 

Of course, this debate has reached the steps of the White House. In early 2015, the White House pledged $75 million toward nationwide adoption of body worn cameras by police. On September 21st, 2015, Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed that the U.S. Justice Department had allocated grants of greater than $23.2 million to 73 local and tribal agencies in 32 states. The DOJ included in those grants measures to evaluate the post-implementation impact.

As reported by CBS News, July 7th, 2015, "Nearly 90 percent of local police departments were using some type of video camera technology in 2013, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics survey. About 17 percent used automated license plate readers and about 49 percent used video cameras for the surveillance of public areas." Along with the two reports on body worn cameras, back in March 2015 we also detailed the growth in the automated license plate reader industry. Assuredly, future historical reporting will reflect a dramatic rise in these statistics for the years 2014 and 2015.

States in the U.S. with the most relevant bid requests from 2012-2014 and in 2015 specifically:

Bill and I were discussing this research with a colleague and he succinctly pointed out, "It's interesting how the news and events can affect purchasing." While that is, and has been, true for a very long time, it does serve to remind us that news and events can move the needle in procurement. For anyone involved in, or around, the government purchasing / procurement sphere, it comes as zero surprise that the Freddie Gray incident in Baltimore, Maryland, led to a bid request from the City of Baltimore specifically for video cameras in police transport vans.

Jim Ward is the VP of New Business Development, at BidPrime, in Austin, Texas. Beginning in early 2014, when he published an initial article on this topic, Mr. Ward has continued to monitor and report on body worn camera purchasing activity by public sector entities.

BidPrime launched in 2009 with the mission to better consolidate state and local government bids and RFPs to provide a clear and timely window into government purchasing. The company uses proprietary patent-pending data mining software dedicated to gathering government bids, contracts, and awards in real-time. This technology acts as the only "newswire" of government procurement data on the market, which grants subscribers the ability to have first access to newly released bid opportunities.


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