Springfield police virtually show body camera demonstration

Hampden County

The full body camera demonstration can be viewed in the video above.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A virtual public demonstration of Springfield’s Police Department’s body cameras was released on Tuesday.

Springfield City Councilor Orlando Ramos had long been advocating for the cameras, and asked the police department to show the public exactly how they use them.

Springfield Police released video of the demonstration online, so residents could see in real time how officers are trained to use them and when they turn them on and off.

Councilor Ramos told 22News the city has a strong policy in place for body cameras, and wanted to make sure the technology can provide the transparency needed for police officers and residents, “The camera never lies. So you will be able to see exactly what happened on camera. So you can make the determination whether the officer violated policy or is being wrongfully accused of misconduct.”

Ramos said the cameras are also meant to protect taxpayers from costly lawsuits. The police department currently has 12 being used by officers.

So far, The Springfield Police Department is believed to be the only department that has launched a body-worn camera program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Police body cameras not only protect the public from police misconduct, but they protect our officers from false allegations, and they protect the taxpayers from costly lawsuits. I am grateful to the mayor and his administration and to the men and women of our Police Department for working collaboratively to make this happen,” Ramos said.

Ramos has also recently submitted an eight-page report of public safety recommendations to Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood following the death of George Floyd. The police department’s use of force policy has also been reviewed by the city council.

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