New Technology Initiatives
Created on June 14, 2021 11:39 am Last Updated on February 2, 2024 11:50 am
The Consent Decree between the City of Baltimore and the Department of Justice requires the BPD to disclose to the public, the acquisition of any new type of equipment or technology that will be used in enforcement activities or oversight of such activities. The disclosure will include: (1) the type of new equipment or technology sought; and (2) BPD’s intended use of the equipment. BPD shall make these disclosures prior to deploying the equipment or technology.
Early Intervention System (EIS)
After exploring the market and reviewing multiple Early Intervention Systems (EIS) through a competitive bid process, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has selected Benchmark Analytics to advance its current internal processes and supervisory technology platforms. Benchmark Analytics is a computerized database system that will provide supervisors and Command with alerts about officer performance as compared to that of officer peer group members, including, but not limited to, when an officer potentially requires intervention from a supervisor, Education & Training (E&T), and/or Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW). Benchmark Analytics will utilize existing BPD performance indicators, such as uses of force, misconduct complaints, training history, use of sick leave and others to determine whether an intervention is warranted.
Officer alerts and resulting interventions derived from the EIS technology solution are intended to be supportive of the member’s safety and wellness, and not disciplinary in nature.
The new Benchmark Analytics system will advance reforms required under the Consent Decree, particularly Consent Decree paragraphs 312-327, which address EIS requirements, as well as other paragraphs related to supervision.
The contract cost Benchmark Analytics licensing, implementation, configuration, training and ongoing support is approximately $2.5 million over the life of the five-year contract.
The Board of Estimates approval was on 9/6/2023.
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Crime Scene Unit and SWAT Team plan to begin using sUAS (“drone”) technology during crime scene management and as a tool during high-risk tactical situations.
BPD’s Crime Scene Unit (CSU) is acquiring small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to support crime scene investigations. These units will be utilized to document outdoor crime scenes through aerial photography/videography, 2D mapping & 3D modeling. The sUAS will provide a more efficient, effective and safer alternative for the CSU to document crime scenes, and will present a true and accurate representation of the scene for investigators and for use in a court of law.
BPD’s SWAT Team is acquiring small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to support in assembling information and apprehending suspects in high risk tactical situations such as hostage rescues, active shooter response and apprehending barricaded persons. The sUAS will provide SWAT Team members with a tool that will enhance situational awareness and minimize risk of death and/or serious bodily injury during high risk operations.
Only CSU and SWAT Team members who have received their FAA Remote Pilot Certification (14 CFR Part 107) will be authorized to complete missions for BPD.
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has acquired Broadcastify to allow streaming audio transmissions. This platform will allow citizens to access police communications via the internet. Since the service is web-based, an internet connection is the only requirement. Streaming audio for the Police Department will be available on July 6, 2023.
More information: broadcastify.com
The City of Baltimore has contracted with Teletrac Navman to install its GPS fleet management software, DIRECTOR®, into fleet vehicles. The City's Department of General Services (DGS), in collaboration with BPD, is in the process of installing the software, which provides vehicle location monitoring, speed, safety analytics, and maintenance reporting.
The new fleet management software will advance reforms required under the Consent Decree.
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has acquired Nighthawk LEOVision to support criminal investigations. Developed by Radix Metasystems, Nighthawk is a software tool designed for law enforcement to streamline investigation-derived data from a variety of providers in order to clearly and efficiently establish connections and patterns. BPD’s criminal investigators will be able to organize and tailor all of the data related to a case with custom marking, labelling, bookmarking, and interactive mapping which will allow them to more easily account for case artifacts.
Nighthawk is a cloud-based software, and requires no additional infrastructure or maintenance. Investigators can access Nighthawk in the field, and any updates to the software are immediately available. The software is fully compliant with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) policy, and the data are encrypted within the Amazon GovCloud FedRAMP accredited databases. Each Investigator has their own account and may only access the data through multi-factor authentication. Data related to an investigation are retained in accordance with BPD policy and procedures governing evidence, and statutory requirements.
Envisage Technologies' Acadis Readiness Suite: Learning Management System (LMS)
After exploring the market and reviewing multiple applications for a learning, education, and training management system, the Law Enforcement Training Management Ecosystem project was coined as the LETME Learn project, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has selected Envisage Technologies’ Acadis Readiness Suite. BPD currently develops and tracks training through different formats. With the implementation of Acadis, BPD will be able to organize and track training curriculum, creation, delivery, and completion in one system; students and command will have their records and registration at their fingertips; and administrators will be able to analyze training at the individual and group levels. In addition to the education side of training, Acadis also provides portals that use resource management information, such as facility capabilities and instructor availability, for more efficient distribution and scheduling.
The new LETME project will advance reforms required under the Consent Decree.
The contract cost for Acadis implementation, configuration, and training, as well as 5 years of licenses is $1,375,000 and will be funded by BPD Technology Improvement Capital Funds.
The Board of Estimates approval was on 7/22/2020.
Peakon ‘Engage’ Employee Software
The Baltimore Police Department’s Human Resources Division will implement a new software product to gather employee feedback, analyze data and provide solutions to improve retention, wellness and operations. This Software will facilitate BPD’s development of a new employee retention plan as required under the Consent Decree
Peakon's ‘Engage’ Employee Software is a commercially available “off-the-shelf” software solution. It will compare BPD internal data to external benchmark data. The Software is cloud-based, collects personally identifiable information and data that it reports to BPD on an aggregated basis. It generates in depth analytics using BPD supplied employee demographics. The Software provides planning tools for BPD management and will integrate with Workday, the City's and BPD's future human capital management system.
Total Contract Value: $100,000 for a two-year license. The software is funded by a grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP).
The Board of Estimates approval was on 6/24/2020.
Records Management System
After exploring the market and reviewing multiple RMS applications, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has selected Axon’s Records Management System (RMS) solution to replace its current system that is close to 20-years old. Axon Records will provide officers with the ability to enter, view, and track information in the field and in real-time. Officers will also be able to store information including, but not limited to, field interviews, investigative stops, arrests, and investigations; and it will provide command with analytics for decision-making and auditing purposes. With BPD currently using Axon’s Body-Worn Cameras, video storage, and tasers, this new system will create a more integrated platform between the RMS and those systems.
The new RMS will advance reforms required under the Consent Decree.
The contract cost for Axon Records implementation, configuration and training through 2023 is $382,858.00. There is no cost for Records licenses through October 2023 because it is bundled in the BPD's current agreement with the Vendor. The RMS is funded by a National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X) grant which supports local law enforcement agencies' ability to implement FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) compliant systems.
The Board of Estimates approval was on 6/24/2020.
Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) Pilot Program
The Baltimore Police Department is committed to developing innovative, evidence-based solutions to improve public safety in Baltimore. To evaluate a promising new technology, BPD plans to launch on May 1st an Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) pilot program. The AIR program will be operated by Persistent Surveillance Systems for a duration of 120-180 days. One or more aircrafts will operate approximately 40 hours per week and collect imagery of over 90% of the City. Resolution is 1 pixel per person, making individuals and vehicles appear as single dots that can be tracked from a crime scene. Identifiable characteristics such as clothing, ethnicity, and license plate numbers will not be discernible.
The focus of the pilot is to support investigation of serious offenses—murder, non-fatal shootings, armed robberies, and car-jackings—and data will be provided to both prosecution and defense attorneys in specific cases. BPD may use AIR imagery in other extraordinary criminal cases as determined by the Police Commissioner.
The effectiveness of the pilot will be determined by independent research partners and an independent audit will be conducted to ensure the program is being used properly.
The pilot is funded by Arnold Ventures and associated non-profit philanthropies.
- Read the Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) presentation
- Description of Research Projects of AIR Pilot Projects
- Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) Pilot Program
- AIR Coverage Map
- Professional Services Agreement approved by Board of Estimates (4/1/2020)
- Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) Mid-Term Report
BPD to launch group messaging tool to enhance communication of critical information
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) plans to deploy a new group messaging tool called Evertel to enhance the way department members communicate critical information internally. Evertel is a collaborative communications platform designed for law enforcement and first responders. The software allows users to quickly and securely communicate using their mobile phone, iPad, desktop, or laptop computer. The benefits of this collaborative communication tool include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Provides a secure communications platform
- Designed for use mobile phones (iOS or Android), personal or department desktops, and laptops
- Stores all communications data
- BPD can easily distribute real-time agency alerts
- Enables real-time communications in times of need
The department reviewed its requirements and selected Evertel at a cost of $48,000/year. Deploying this secure, collaborative communication platform quickly will allow all BPD members to instantly and securely share crime intelligence and safety information across all divisions and work units in real-time.
Slik Tix Electronic Traffic Information Exchange (ETiX)
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) will purchase 400 Slik Tix Mobile Electronic Ticketing Systems from Daly Computers, Inc and manufactured by Global Public Safety, LLC. The BPD will use funds from a Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention crime reduction grant. The mobile ticketing systems will be installed in patrol vehicles that have a mobile data computer, and will serve as a one-piece solution to scan driver’s licenses and/or registrations, print traffic citations, and upload the data to District Court.
The BPD will use ETiX to write and submit electronic traffic citations which are currently hand-written, and manually entered. ETiX, which is also utilized by the Maryland State Police, allows officers to scan driver’s licenses to automatically populate a citation, and officers will choose a charge from a drop-down menu. By automating the ticket issuing and processing system, the BPD will significantly increase efficiency and accuracy in citations while improving officer safety by decreasing the time spent on traffic stops.
For more information on the Slik Tix ETiX System, visit Global Public Safety, LLC’s website here.
ShotSpotter Gunshot Detection & Alert System
Through the generous financial support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, in May 2018 the Baltimore Police Department will begin to use ShotSpotter, Inc.’s real-time gunshot detection and alert system to enhance the Department’s ability to detect, respond to, and investigate violent crimes and other incidents involving gunfire.
The ShotSpotter technology is a network of acoustic sensors that can detect firearms discharges, and immediately notifies BPD officers of the location of the incident. Ten square miles of Baltimore City – five miles each in East and West Baltimore – will be served by the ShotSpotter acoustic coverage area.
Research indicates that the vast majority of gunfire discharges go unreported. Police officers cannot effectively respond to incidents of which they are not aware. ShotSpotter will allow BPD officers to more effectively respond to gunfire incidents. This technology allows for improved public safety and is intended to deepen trust and collaboration between the Department and communities affected by gun violence. Baltimore will join over a dozen cities in the United States that have implemented ShotSpotter’s gunshot detection technology. To learn how ShotSpotter has been used to address gun violence in other cities, click the below links:
Mobile Data Computers
The BPD is excited to announce we will begin equipping our fleet of patrol vehicles with in-car computers to aid in the crime fight and improve the delivery of police services.
After an extensive evaluation period to identify a product that will provide officers with 24/7 mission critical information, the BPD will re-launch its Mobile Data Computer (MDC) project later this summer. The project will begin with the deployment of 90 Dell Latitude Rugged 14” Computers to the Northwestern and Northeastern Districts.
Mobile data computers have become standard-issue equipment for law enforcement officers throughout the United States. With this technology, officers will complete routine administrative duties in the field, keeping officers on the street and visible to the community rather than working at a computer in a police station. Mobile data computers will allow officers to access calls for service, location hazards, crime mapping, departmental email, training materials, policy updates, and various data networks and criminal databases.
The future of the MDC project is geared toward field-based reporting, which will eliminate the current practice of officers hand-writing reports and allow them to record criminal activity in real-time.
The BPD plans to deploy over 400 mobile data computers within the next 12 months.
Cell Site Simulator
After seeking requests for proposal, the vendor Cognyte Software, LP was identified to provide the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) with a Cell Site Simulator.
Cell Site Simulators are devices that mimic a cell tower and capture identifying information of electronic devices (e.g. cell phones and tablets in the range of the device).
Before use, the investigator must obtain a court order authorizing or directing the use of a cell site simulator per Maryland Code Criminal Law Article §1–203.1, and the application shall set forth the basis for probable cause. For exigent circumstances, BPD may use a cell site simulator for a period not to exceed 48 hours. Examples of exigent circumstances are those to assist in locating victims or suspects of serious crimes (e.g. kidnapping, vulnerable or suicidal missing persons) or with express consent of the user or owner of the device. For exigent circumstances, investigators shall seek permission from the court to authorize utilization of the equipment as soon as practical under the circumstances, and in no case later than the next business day. Only data captured that a search and seizure warrant allows will be retained.
The contract cost for Cognyte, LP is $920,000 with a term of one-year with two, one-year renewal options.
The Board of Estimates hearing is scheduled for August 24, 2022.
Wolfftracker Motion Sensor
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has acquired the Wolfftracker Motion Sensor device for high-risk warrant services, hostage/barricade incidents, and other tactical incidents involving BPD SWAT. Wolfftracker is a small tool that uses Doppler radar to detect movement through barriers such as walls. Being able to detect the presence or absence of individuals prior to entry by SWAT will increase safety and the likelihood of a positive outcome. Wolfftracker will only be used by SWAT members during tactical situations. Fourth amendment concerns are mitigated by either the exigency required for its use or a signed search and seizure warrant. It does not collect or store any information or data.
Wolfftracker is manufactured by the Mistral Inc. The cost is $4,999.20 and is funded through General Funds.