Purcellville Embraces New Era of Policing with Body Worn Cameras

Chest video recorder. Body-worn video recorder at charging station. Device for recording employee movements. Concept – sale of portable video recorders. Close-up DVR equipment. Garment DVR

PURCELLVILLE, Va., January 24, 2024 – The Purcellville Police Department, in keeping with Virginia’s legislative mandate and their commitment to service excellence, has taken a significant step forward in community policing. Following a thorough process that involved public feedback, the Department is now in the final stages of implementing a Body Worn Camera (BWC) policy. This initiative, which aligns with broader trends in Northern Virginia law enforcement, promises to bolster transparency and accountability in police operations.

The journey toward this advancement began in March 2023, when the Department sought community input on its BWC policy, in compliance with Virginia Code § 15.2-1723.1. The insights gathered were instrumental in refining the policy, ensuring it resonates with both the Department’s ethos and community expectations. Now, the Department has received the BWC equipment, funded by a Small Rural and Tribal Police Department grant, marking a pivotal moment in Purcellville’s law enforcement history.

As of December 2023, the Department has been actively training its personnel in the use of this technology, with the process expected to be complete by January 31, 2024. Residents may have already noticed officers equipped with these cameras while on duty. These BWCs will be activated during various law enforcement interactions, complementing the existing in-car cameras, and providing a more comprehensive view of on-duty activities.

Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister emphasizes the Department’s dedication to fostering a safe and trusting environment in the community. “The Purcellville Police Department strives for effective police services built through accountability and transparency,” Chief McAlister remarked. She highlights the careful consideration given to the BWC policy, aiming to strike a balance between public needs and departmental objectives. “Utilizing the BWCs will continue to allow the Department to be transparent in our actions and impact within the community,” she added.

This move places Purcellville Police Department in line with neighboring law enforcement agencies like the Leesburg Police Department and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, further unifying regional efforts toward transparent policing. As the community of Purcellville adapts to this change, it marks a new chapter in the relationship between its residents and the officers sworn to protect them.

 

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