The money will be used to pay for an evidence review unit.
Frederick, Md (KM) Some assistance is being provided to the Frederick County’s State’s Attorney’s Office in reviewing video from police body worn cameras. In an unanimous vote last week, the County Council approved a budget transfer of $362,690 from a capital project to set up an evidence review unit.
in 2017, the Frederick Police purchased 18 body worn cameras for their officers as part of a pilot program. But the city has now decided to expand the program with 88 additional cameras. State’s Attorney Charlie Smith had expressed strong concerns about the amount of time needed to go through this video and determine what can be used in court.
Chief Administrative Officer Rick Harcum said Smith had asked for more money and staff to review the footage. “It didn’t make it into anybody’s budget just because of ‘events’ this past budget season,” he says. “Nevertheless, the State’s Attorney’s Office, Charlie Smith, has an obligation to manage all of this video evidence.”
Harcum noted that even 18 body worn cameras can produced almost 6,000 hours of video footage.
This additional money, he says, will ;let the State’s Attorney’s Office set up the evidence review unit which will be staffed by an assistant state’s attorney and four investigators, who will go through this video and determine what can be used as evidence at trial. The funds will support this unit for one year.
The money comes from a capital project which is not going forward this current fiscal year.
By Kevin McManus