The Marquette University Police Department has completed a successful summer pilot program to implement body-worn cameras throughout the department and all MUPD officers will utilize body worn cameras moving forward.
Body-worn cameras record officer interactions with members of the community, providing an additional tool in documenting calls to service and evidence during investigations. Beginning June 1, eight to 10 MUPD officers and two MUPD sergeants were issued body cameras, giving MUPD at least one active body camera on duty at all times. The pilot provided MUPD the opportunity to address logistics and procedures ahead of full deployment this fall.
“The program over the summer went well and we were encouraged by the feedback we received from the participating officers and staff, who have adapted well to the new procedures in place,” MUPD Chief Edith Hudson said. “This summer has been invaluable in developing policies and guidelines that are in line with industry standards and the mission of Marquette University. Body worn cameras help increase transparency between MUPD and the communities we serve as we strive to create the safest possible environment to learn, work and live.”
According to a 2021 survey by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the majority of police agencies in the state were in some stage of implementing a body camera program. In the city of Milwaukee, cameras are already in use by the Milwaukee Police Department and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Police Department. MUPD has utilized dashboard cameras in officer vehicles since its formation in 2015.
MUPD received partial funding for body-worn cameras through the Body-Worn Cameras Grant Program launched by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 2022 to support and defray costs for the purchase of body-worn cameras and digital storage and retrieval systems.
With more than 60 trained public safety professionals, including 44 sworn police officers, MUPD has an extensive safety infrastructure throughout campus and in the near off-campus neighborhood, which includes more than 1,200 cameras and more than 450 Blue Light phones, a state-of-the-art command information center and the nationally recognized Department of Campus Safety.