The Panama City Police Department has fully implemented a new Body Worn Camera (BWC) Program.
As part of the City’s initiative to provide the highest level of safety and security for the community, the Mayor and Commissioners approved funding in the 2021 Fiscal Year Budget for the implementation of the BWC Program, including the purchase of 66 Body Worn Cameras and a civilian employee to manage the video data.
All Field Services Officers and Street Crimes Investigators are equipped with a WatchGuard V300 Wearable Body Camera. The cameras collect video and audio evidence as well as synchronizes with the WatchGuard vehicle cameras already in use by the Department. Officers will wear the camera near or at the center of their chest on the outermost layer of clothing.
The Department’s use of body worn cameras are a valuable tool in accurately documenting events, actions, conditions and statements made during traffic stops, field interviews, arrests and critical incidents. The technology promotes transparency by documenting a clearer picture of what happened during an incident. It also provides an opportunity to capture the good work that officers do on a daily basis.
The use of the body worn cameras will follow the guidelines outlined in policies set by the Police Department. Additionally, this equipment will enable supervisors to conduct periodic reviews of officer contacts for quality control purposes and will aid in the investigation of citizen complaints.
The public can request captured video and audio through public records request. Requests will be fulfilled in accordance with Florida Statute.