U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) took another step to expand the agency’s use of cameras by issuing a Request for Quote (RFQ) against a GSA Schedule on September 13, 2016.
CBP solicited quotes for 108 body-worn cameras and 12 vehicle-mounted cameras. CBP intends to award multiple orders related to the RFQ by the end of September 2016. Multiple awards will let CBP test and evaluate several commercially available camera systems in varied operational environments.
“CBP is committed to expanding the use of cameras to increase transparency, accountability, and officer and agent safety,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “The body-worn and vehicle-mounted cameras from this purchase will be tested by agents and officers in the field. What we learn from this initial deployment to several operational environments will help CBP refine requirements that will lead to a larger procurement in the near future.”
In April 2016, CBP issued a Request for Information (RFI) on body-worn camera and vehicle-mounted camera systems, which yielded responses from 28 vendors. Based on the results of this market research, CBP chose to use one of the GSA Schedules for the RFQ. For GSA Schedules, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) establishes long-term government-wide contracts with commercial companies to provide access to commercial products and services.
CBP will continue to engage with industry as the agency conducts market research. CBP’s final selection of camera systems for future purchases may include the cameras tested from this procurement or other technologies.
Commissioner Kerlikowske chartered an agency-wide working group to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating body-worn camera technology into CBP’s law enforcement operations following a 2013 comprehensive review of CBP’s Use of Force policy. CBP continues to develop an implementation strategy for all camera technology.
The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 includes $5 million to develop operational requirements, conduct technical evaluations, procure camera technology, establish a camera system that includes body-worn cameras, and develop CBP’s camera policy.