SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police Department announced on Friday that they have begun training officers for body-worn cameras.
As of Friday, 12 officers and supervisors have been trained in the department and they expect to have nearly 500 officers trained by the end of summer.
I have always said that I see body-worn cameras as something that will help us, not hurt us. Now more than ever I believe they will protect us. The Mayor has been a firm believer in body-worn cameras and has supported us throughout this entire process.Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood
Locally, protests have been taking place after a Minneapolis Police Officer was charged with the murder of George Floyd. Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman told 22News, that implementing this program is one step closer to making sure the justice being protested happens.
It is an important first step but we have a lot of work to do, both in Springfield and in our nation in terms of bridging that gap righting those past wrongs and moving forward so we can ensure justice in all of our communities.Jesse Lederman, Springfield City Councilor
Body-worn cameras issued to police officers will not have night vision or facial recognition. All Springfield officers will wear cameras with the exception of school officers, due to privacy concerns.
Video is recorded 30 seconds prior to activation and audio is recorded as soon as it is activated. If an officer turns on their emergency lights on the vehicle, the body camera automatically activates.
I am happy to see the fruits of our labor paying off as our Springfield Police Department begins to deploy and utilize our body-worn cameras. From the beginning, I strongly believe that this program will help our efforts to assure best practices, improve our policies and practices, while taking advantage of new technology. I want to commend Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood for her leadership and support of this program which I firmly believe is putting us on a path where improved trust, confidence, and effective policing will be the end product.Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno
Body-worn cameras for the Springfield Police Department will cost around $2.5 million towards equipment, storage and renovations needed to the building. The department has already received $1 million in a federal grant to help pay the cost.
The Springfield Police Department’s Department of Justice (D.O.J.) Body-Worn Camera Liaison believes that the Springfield Police Department is the only police department to have been able to move forward and launch a body-worn camera program during this COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 17, the Springfield Police Department received roughly 500 cameras and docking stations from Getac video solutions.