Govt. ready to sign contracts for police body cams, drone tech

Govt. ready to sign contracts for police body cams, drone tech
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Expansion of CCTV on stream for early 2020, says minister 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is expected to execute an agreement for at least 200 body-worn cameras within the next week, according to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

In a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online, Dames outlined some of the technological advances the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) will benefit from in early 2020 to bolster efforts in the fight against crime.

The minister did not provide the name of the vendor.

The body-worn cameras are expected to be military standard.

At last report, the program, which includes at least 200 body-worn cameras and 200 dash cameras, is expected to cost just under $700,000.

The program is expected to create another layer of transparency to between the police for force and the public.

The minister also said the government will sign an agreement for drone technology this month.

“In the next week and a half we will be signing the contract for the body-cams, as well as the drones and so a lot of our technology will take root in 2020, and that should assist law enforcement in a significant way, and their efforts as they move to reduce the level of crime,” Dames said.

“We know it’s not a quick fix but now that our strategy and our plan are beginning to take root we look forward to a better year.”

Additionally, Dames said the next phase of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) program is expected to come on steam early next year, noting that the cameras, and accompanying equipment are on order.

“Work has already begun in earnest for the implementation of these cameras throughout New Providence, so certainly in early 2020 you will begin to see the cameras being installed,” the minister said. “I know that they are on order and should be coming in, as well as other resources associated with those.”

In September, the government signed a more than $5 million contract with Proficient Business Services for 507 CCTV surveillance cameras, bringing the complement of cameras up to 750.

According to the minister, the CCTV program, among other initiatives, is expected to work in tandem with gunshot detection technology, which was launched in March.

In his 2018 policing plan, the commissioner of police called for the acquisition of body cameras for officers and first responders; the expansion of the closed-circui television program and the implementation of drone technology.