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Baltimore awards $200K no-bid contract to redact body camera videos

Baltimore Police officers Gregory Twigg, Alan Chanoine and Hanna Parrish wear three different body camera models that will be tested during a two-month pilot program that began Monday.
Baltimore Police officers Gregory Twigg, Alan Chanoine and Hanna Parrish wear three different body camera models that will be tested during a two-month pilot program that began Monday. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore's spending panel on Wednesday approved a $200,000 no-bid contract with a Florida-based company to redact videos shot by police body cameras.

The deal with BlueSky Safeguard of St. Petersburg runs until June 30, 2016 with four one-year renewal options.

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The firm's job will be to "exclude or redact certain video images from disclosure to protect privacy concerns and investigations" when responding to public information requests for video from the cameras, according to Board of Estimates documents.

The documents state that "no advantage will result in seeking nor would it be practical to obtain competitive bids" on the contract.

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Baltimore police are testing cameras from three firms as part of a pilot program: Taser International Inc., the manufacturer of stun guns; Atlantic Tactical Inc.; and Brekford Corp., the Anne Arundel firm that briefly ran the city's troubled speed camera program.

The pilot program is equipping a total of 155 officers in Baltimore's Eastern, Central and Western police districts with cameras until Dec. 18. The pilot calls for the cameras to be used on every shift, collecting and uploading video footage to a hosted storage facility.

At the conclusion of the pilot, the city plans to choose a winning bidder for city-wide implementation of body-worn cameras starting in early 2016.

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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