Updated Status of the VBPD Body Worn Camera Program

Updated Status of the VBPD Body Worn Camera Program
June 10, 2021

​VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) has completed the issuance of Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) to all sworn officers, from the newest police officer to the Police Chief.

Even though all officers now have access to a BWC, certain activities and positions will remain exempt from mandated use due to the nature of their assignment such as detectives or administrative positions that do not routinely interact with the public. However, if these officers are assigned in an operational capacity or working an extension of police services detail in an off-duty capacity they will be required to utilize their assigned BWC.

Department policy has also been amended to require the activation of BWC when officers are dispatched and begin responding to a call for service instead of at time of arrival. When not on a call for service, BWCs are powered on but not actively recording until manually activated; however, they are passively recording, and that passive buffering window has been increased from 30 seconds to the maximum permissible two minutes.

The VBPD is still working to resolve the issue with the Signal Side Arm technology that automatically activate an officer’s BWC when their firearm is drawn from the holster. The VBPD has received a new holster design that is currently being tested and evaluated.

Captain William Zelms, Commanding Officer, Special Projects and Technology Bureau, discusses these points in the below companion video: