Vancouver Police Department moves toward implementation of police camera program in 2022


Plan is to include body-worn, dash and in-car cameras

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is moving forward with next steps toward implementing a comprehensive police camera program in spring of 2022, which is planned to include body-worn, dash and in-car cameras.

Examples of some body camera types from a 2019 report done by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. File photo
Examples of some body camera types from a 2019 report done by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. File photo

VPD is working on developing a request for proposals (RFP) to identify vendors that can provide equipment, training and other needed features to support establishing the camera program. The city is also engaging with the Community Task Force on Policing, as well as organized labor groups on the crafting of department policy regarding a camera program.

The process of establishing a camera program for VPD requires multiple steps. The Vancouver City Council adopted budget capacity in the 2021-22 biennial budget to fund a program, and the city has engaged the task force regarding the approach to establishing a camera program. Reaching agreement with labor unions and selecting a vendor to supply the camera systems are early steps. Hiring staff to manage the program, testing the cameras, training the police force and installing cameras in police vehicles will all be part of the plan to launch a comprehensive and fully operational camera program.

“A camera program for the Vancouver Police Department is an important step to enhance the safety of, and improve interactions between, police officers and the public and increase protection of evidence during criminal investigations,” said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain. “My hope is that these tools will not only assist in strengthening relationships between police and the community but will also help make Vancouver a safer community for all.”

The city’s Community Task Force on Policing, which was formed in summer of 2020, is tasked with reviewing and assuring accountability during the implementation of the 84 recommendations in the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) use of force report – in addition to reviewing and advising the city on establishing a police camera program, which was already under consideration by VPD. The task force represents the community’s voice in discussions and issues related to use of force, training and data collection policies.

“We are committed to serving the public safety needs of our community with transparency and accountability in this effort,” said Eric Holmes, city manager of city of Vancouver. “Chief McElvain and I are committed to establishing a successful police camera program for VPD as part of our ongoing commitment to build confidence and trust with Vancouver residents.”

The city will continue to report on the progress of implementing the police camera program. For more information, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/VPDCameraStudy.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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