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Bureau of Land Management to equip officers with body cameras

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 4:17 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) signed a $2.5 million, five-year contract with Axon Enterprise of Scottsdale, AZ to equip approximately 250 uniformed law enforcement rangers with body-worn cameras, and to provide rangers and nearly 100 special agents with access to a cutting-edge, cloud-based digital evidence management platform.

According to a press release, although many BLM law enforcement officers have used body cameras since 2012, with fulfillment of this contract body cameras will be used by all uniformed officers. The new cameras that will be deployed to BLM personnel incorporate real-time situational awareness technology with live streaming capabilities to allow authorized users to view critical incidents happening in the field in real-time.

William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs said in a press release, “The Bureau has a responsibility to ensure tools like body worn cameras are fully deployed and in use bureau-wide to protect the safety and rights of our officers, employees and the public, and to assure enhanced transparency and legitimacy. We are delighted a western company can provide the important services and equipment we need and are pleased to work with a company certified and compliant with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.”

BLM law enforcement officers are responsible for protecting Bureau employees, visitors, and the natural resources of 245 million acres of land, primarily in 11 western States and Alaska. Beginning this month, the new system will be deployed in phases, with full implementation and bureau-wide body camera use expected by early summer 2021. Digital evidence gathered by the new cameras will be stored using a digital platform, which creates a centralized repository for storage, retention, and archiving of incident-related digital evidence.

In the same press release, Eric A. Kriley, BLM Director for Law Enforcement and Security said, “This will provide our dedicated law enforcement rangers and special agents with the technology and tools they need to accomplish our protection and investigative missions, and I look forward to seeing its full implementation in the coming months.”

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