Washington Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier packed the house for her talk on the police department’s use of body cameras. (Photos: Bob Kovacs)
WASHINGTON — The second day of Government Video Expo 2015 was shorter than the first, but the schedule was packed with some of the most compelling presentations. Opening at 10 a.m. and shutting down at 4 p.m., Thursday had two fewer hours of GV Expo to enjoy as compared to the day before, but this was made up for by the importance of the presentations.
Following the previous day’s keynote talk by Fairfax Police Capt. Bob Blakley on the creation of standards for use of police body cameras, Thursday’s first keynote was by Washington Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier, who discussed her department’s experiences as an early adopter of body cameras.
Serving with the MPD for her entire career in law enforcement, Chief Lanier started as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks. She was appointed Chief of Police in 2007.
The Metro Police started rolling out body cameras in October 2014, and now has well more than 1,000 in regular use. Chief Lanier described the necessity of training rookies and veterans about the use of the cameras, stating that officers needed to develop “muscle memory” to activate the cameras every time an officer was called to action. As the department’s experience grows, Lanier said that instances of officers forgetting to switch on their cameras are growing fewer and fewer.
As for rank-and-file police officers, Lanier said that the response to body cameras has been positive.
“Cops like the cameras,” she said, noting that police officers from local agencies that don’t use body cameras welcome their MPD colleagues who have body cameras.
Following this important discussion of a growing government video application, the final GV Expo keynote speaker was DCTV President and CEO Nantz Rickard. DCTV is the cable access television operation in Washington. Titled “Finding Buried Treasure: Strategic Ingenuity and the PEG Center Advantage,” Rickard’s talk revolved around the city’s cable access operation and how it serves the needs of the community.
NewBay Media Vice President Carmel King (R) greets keynote presenter Nantz Rickard, president and CEO of DCTV.
Often referred to as Public, Education and Government (PEG) channels, cable access services are financed by cable franchise fees and produce programs with few or no commercials. Nantz discussed the importance of Washington’s PEG channel to its viewers and how it works with the community to develop programming.
How community-oriented is it? Nantz said that a city resident could create a short video to promote a civic or community activity, and fully expect that it would be aired on DCTV. Such items are among the buried treasures referred to in the title of Nantz’s presentation.
Elsewhere in the hall, exhibitors reported good interest in their booths. Several mentioned the quality of the attendees, meaning that people at the GV Expo were more than just lookers and tire-kickers — they were actively researching needs and seeking solutions.
GV Expo 2015 closed its doors with its famous raffle at the end of the show on Thursday. Among the many products given to eager attendees was a Fender Stratocaster guitar, signed by rock legend Tom Petty. Arranged for and donated by exhibitor Steve Austin Music, nobody left the Presentation Theater until that prize was gone.