Springfield mayor unsupportive of proposed ban on facial recognition technology

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield City Councilor Orlando Ramos proposed a ban on using facial recognition technology in anticipation of the police department purchasing and using body cameras.

Ramos said facial recognition technology has been occasionally ineffective in identifying people, and that banning it would help protect residents’ privacy.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno strongly opposes the City Council’s consideration to ban facial recognition technology. He thinks it is a way to keep violent criminals off the streets.

“Why take away an effective tool for our police department to get these types of violent repeat criminal offenders off our streets we should not take away the option .”

Ramos said the council will vote on the ordinance before the end of October.

In a statement, Mayor Sarno said he would veto the City Council’s ordinance if the council approves it.

Springfield Police officers will begin testing out body cameras from four different companies over the next few weeks.

The Springfield Police Department anticipates officers will begin wearing body cameras before the end of the year.

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