IMPD Body Worn Camera Technology Trial Begins

July 18, 2019

This week kicks off a body worn camera pilot for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) that will see all officers and supervisors on North, East, and Southeast District middle shifts equipped with body worn cameras for 45 days.

The technology trial is part of a process to study the feasibility of a body worn camera program for Indianapolis that began in early 2019. As part of the feasibility study, IMPD launched an extensive community engagement process. IUPUI continues to administer a private web-based community survey to identify residents’ attitudes, expectations, and concerns regarding IMPD officers wearing body cameras. Community Resource District Councils, grassroots neighborhood organizations, and faith leaders also helped facilitate a series of listening sessions earlier this year.

Following a Request for Information from qualified vendors, IMPD has selected Axon, Utility, and Motorola body worn camera technology for the pilot. These products are being tested by IMPD officers who serve in the busiest shift on the largest districts – all beat officers and supervisors on North, East, and Southeast district middle shift will use the equipment to record video and audio of resident interactions that occur over the trial period. Officers participating in the pilot will provide feedback to be collected and analyzed by IUPUI to assess both vendor technology and officer perceptions of the pilot program. The technology is being piloted at no cost to the City.

This will be a second, larger pilot of body worn camera technology within the IMPD. Prohibitive costs, outdated City technology infrastructure, a small sample size, as well as a lack of community buy-in were cited when a 2014 pilot did not result in the development of a permanent program. In the five years since, vendor offerings have increased, the City has invested millions of dollars in upgrading public safety technology infrastructure, and body worn camera products have advanced, significantly driving down costs. IMPD anticipates full deployment of a body worn camera program may cost between $2 – 3 million per year, including the lease of the equipment, cloud storage of audio and video data, maintenance, as well as the staffing and software to export and redact video. Most major vendor agreements include startup costs and do not require an upfront investment from the City.

For more information:
Body Camera FAQ’s
View the IMPD’s Standard Operating Procedures for Body Worn Camera Trial
Phone IMPD: 317.327.3282