Facial Recognition moratorium vote postponed by Springfield City Council

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The topic of facial recognition technology has been a polarizing one between the city council, the Springfield Police Department, and the mayor for months.

The Springfield City Council has proposed a moratorium be put in place for this technology but decided to postpone a vote on a resolution Monday night.

Mayor Domenic Sarno has said a moratorium is unnecessary, but City Councilor Orlando Ramos said using this technology right away could lead to an invasion of privacy.

“We want to use it for the benefit of the Springfield Police Department. What we don’t want is to give authority to any municipal department to be unregulated because it could be dangerous and it could lead to mass surveillance of the city of Springfield,” Ramos said.

There are no current plans to use this technology in the city.

Mayor Domenic Sarno said it would have specific rules and regulations and it would serve to assist in missing person cases and to help keep repeat offenders off the streets.

“If something happens and that family member says to me…why didn’t you do everything in your power to get my child back..to get my grandmother back..or stop and prevent crime from happening? I’m sorry they won’t let us use this technology,” Sarno said.

The length of the proposed moratorium is not final.

Mayor Sarno does have the power to veto but the city council can override his decision.

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