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case-study / January 21, 2021

How body worn cameras have helped Rowan University PD

After several “he-said-she-said” encounters, Rowan University Police Department saw the need for body-worn video to help promote transparency on campus. In late 2014, several officers at the Rowan University Police Department came to Lieutenant Craig Shute with a request for body-worn cameras. Lt. Shute presented the case for cameras to administrators, and with their approval, began the search in 2015 for a product that would work best for officers who serve the unique environment of a college campus.

The Rowan University Police Department had several requirements for their body-worn camera program and after testing and evaluating Axon for 60 days, the department determined that Axon met all their needs. They wanted a camera that wasn’t bulky, and found the Axon Body 2 camera to be wearable without affecting an officer’s day-to-day routine. They also saw a need for Axon’s cloud-based data management system, where they could easily upload and manage their videos without worrying about supporting additional infrastructure. They found Axon’s robust audit trails essential for their work, Lt. Shute saying “We live by that audit trail . . . we love it, and it helps us in court.”

Deploying the body-worn camera program has helped the department “build camaraderie” with community members on campus and expedite the process of reviewing complaints and working with university officials, Lt. Shute said. Using has also transformed how the department manages video evidence, eliminating the need to burn CDs and search for them in evidence storage rooms.

“It makes it a lot easier for us to track videos and find videos” - Lt. Shute, Rowan University PD.

Body-worn video has also strengthened the department’s training program. The Lieutenant or Detective Sergeant will typically watch 30 minutes to an hour of an officer’s footage to help review how he or she performed in different scenarios and offer one-on-one feedback. “It helps you to teach them and let them learn, and they can actually see what they did . . . as a training tool, it’s phenomenal.” - Lt. Shute, Rowan University PD