SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (WWLP)- The Springfield Police Department hosted a demonstration of their body worn cameras Friday.
Springfield police officers have been wearing body worn cameras for over a year now, and Commissioner Clapprood says they’ve been reaping the rewards of them.
State Rep. Carlos Gonzalez commented on the department’s presentation on their body camera program, “They talked about the advanced technology that’s used for them, how they work, and why the video recorded cannot be manipulated.”
They then had him put on a camera himself, and with just a push of a button, it begins recording video footage. As they discussed Friday, they’ve been just as much a win for Springfield residents, as the officers who wear them.
“I’ve seen a decrease in the amount incidents where there are negative interactions with police departments, and it seems to be in attribute to body worn cameras that’s reducing the amount of complaints while also highlighting accountability on both sides,” said Gonzalez.
Commissioner Clapprood told 22News, “Mostly all of the citizen complaints they are either inaccurate or we are being falsely accused. So now it went from officers being skeptical wearing cameras to they don’t want to go out without one because its helping them.” She said they were awarded a DOJ grant over $1 million to start this program. They began training their officers in the winter of 2019, and the program was fully implemented in June of 2020.
The Springfield Police Department was one of two in the country that got the program up and running during COVID-19 last year.