SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Officers and supervisors at the Springfield Police Department started wearing body-worn cameras three years ago.

According to a news release sent to 22News for the Springfield Police Department’s spokesperson Ryan Walsh, nearly 500 sworn officers and supervisors wear body-worn cameras while on duty. More than 54,000 hours have been captured on camera in three years.

Officers and supervisors wear the cameras during their shifts. It records and saves 30 seconds before the camera is activated, audio is recorded at the beginning of the activation. They are also automatically activated at the onset of emergency lights being turned on or manually at the officer’s discretion. 

School resource officers do not wear cameras over student privacy concerns. They are also prohibited during medical calls and when an officer does not have permission to record within a residence without a warrant. Body-worn cameras issued to police officers will not have night vision or facial recognition capabilities.

Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood stated, “From day one I said the body-worn cameras will help us, not hurt us.  Since we implemented this program the number of citizen complaints has steadily decreased and it has increased our officer’s accountability.  It’s been a tremendous tool that has benefitted both the public and our officers.  The body-worn camera footage has assisted the department in recognizing officers for life-saving actions, conducting investigations and aiding the District Attorney’s Office in getting convictions.  As this technology evolves our officers will evolve with it.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I want to commend Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood and her leadership team for their continued belief, support and investment in our body-worn camera program.  All officers and supervisors, totaling just under 500, now wear the body-worn cameras which has greatly enhanced our public safety aspects and brought increased transparency and accountability on police and public interactions, including hours of video footage of our brave and dedicated police officers saving lives – including performing lifesaving CPR on babies, and responding to criminal activity.  As we mark the third anniversary of this important public safety initiative, I am proud to state that our Springfield Police Department was one of the few, if not the only department in the nation to have launched this initiative during the pandemic and we were the first large major city in the Commonwealth to have a fully implemented body-worn camera system in place.  My administration fully supports our brave and dedicated men and women in blue and providing them with the latest and newest technology that is available to help them serve and protect our community.”