On June 1, 2022, it was announced that the State of New Hampshire is moving forward with several key initiatives from the Commission on Law Enforcement, Accountability, Community, and Transparency (LEACT), including state police body cameras and matching funds for local police department body cameras.
“Keeping New Hampshire safe is our top priority,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “New Hampshire has the best law enforcement in the country. To their credit, they have approached this program as an opportunity to build even greater trust and transparency with those they risk their lives to serve every day.”
As of this week, 260 New Hampshire State Police cruisers are now equipped with front-facing and backseat cameras that are automatically activated based on a host of prompts. Additionally, nearly all State Police Troop Barracks and Units have been trained and outfitted with body-worn cameras integrated with their uniforms. Their body-worn cameras are also activated by a number of automated prompts.
Additionally, the Executive Council voted to approve today at their June 1, 2022, meeting $719,646.00 for the purchase of body-worn and dashboard cameras for 29 local police departments. These 50% matching funds will reimburse agencies for the purchase of new body-worn or dashboard cameras to start their program or add to their program, for software maintenance, and costs related to maintenance and storage of data recorded by body-worn and dashboard cameras.
“I am proud of the job performed by our State’s law enforcement community, and am confident these new cameras will only enhance the relationships between New Hampshire’s law enforcement officers and the communities that these officers serve and protect,” said Attorney General John Formella. “The transparency gained from the use of these cameras will be a major benefit to law enforcement and the public.”
State Police carried out robust Request For Information (RFI) and Request For Proposal (RFP) processes in order to carefully identify a vendor, Utility / BodyWorn, to supply integrated cruiser and body-worn camera systems. Ease of use, automated recording triggers that relieve users of having to remember to activate the system, as well as a system architecture that assures simple transfer of high-quality video and audio from field devices to a central evidence management system were all considered in the selection process.
“As State Police, we are committed to the safety and security of both our Troopers and the people we serve. Every day our Troopers work to safeguard the public with the utmost professionalism,” said New Hampshire State Police ColonelNathan Noyes. “Our new cameras promote officer safety and reflect an important investment in transparency as we continue to strive to fortify the public’s trust in our efforts to uphold the rule of law.”
State Police body-worn cameras and vehicle cameras are now integrated with one another to capture footage of incidents. The collected video is stored on a DVR in the cruiser. When a Trooper is at a designated offload site, the video is automatically uploaded from the device to Secure Cloud storage and video management platform. There are now 31 video offload sites throughout the state, which work through encrypted wireless technology, at locations/stations Troopers regularly visit during their shifts. The camera system is fully integrated with the existing State Police CAD/RMS platform, allowing incident reports to be linked with video automatically.
Starting with vendor training materials, an interactive, scenario-based training program has also been customized by State Police to ensure it develops competent end-users, ultimately training Troopers in a system that helps them do their jobs while providing accountability, transparency, and strengthening trust with the public they serve.