Winter Haven Police Department
The Winter Haven Police Department announced the rollout of their body worn camera program at a City Commission Workshop held Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
Officers provided a demonstration to Commissioners showing the capabilities of the cameras and various aspects of the program.
Training for the body-camera program started on February 18 and will conclude February 25, 2022. All patrol officers and school resource officers will be equipped and deployed in March of this year. The initial roll-out of the program includes 69 cameras along with storage of the footage.
The cameras will automatically begin recording with a 30-second pre-roll when an officer’s handgun is removed from its holster. Officers will also manually activate their cameras for reasons such as traffic stops, citizen encounters, crimes in progress and arrests to name a few. The Department’s full body-camera policy is available on the home page of the City of Winter Haven’s website at www.mywinterhaven.com.
“We know cameras can’t capture everything the officer sees, but this could provide more information of what occurred,” said Police Chief David Brannan. “The cameras will assist with investigations rising from citizen complaints to shining a light on the great work our officers do on a daily basis.”
The City Commission approved the funding for the body-camera program in the 21-22 fiscal year. The Department is utilizing forfeiture funds of $65,412 towards the full program cost of $473,001. Forfeiture funds are obtained when property is seized during criminal activity. Brannan said, “Using the forfeiture funds towards our body-camera program is a fiscally sound way to utilize those funds for a program that will benefit both our officers and citizens.”