Worcester police considering wearing body cameras

Cameras could hold officers and citizens accountable

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Many police cruisers are typically equipped with video cameras that are mounted to and can record from the windshield. In Worcester, police are reviewing the idea of using police-worn body cameras.

Worcester police reviewing having body cameras as a part of their team to record police interactions with the public. This could protect officers from any false accusations made against them, and also protect the public from police misconduct.

Worcester Police Chief Garry Gemme says having these cameras would be an expensive project. In New Orleans, police are considering 350 body cameras, which would cost about $1.2 million over five years.

Chief Gemme says the main cost would be storing all of the videos, rather than the cost of the cameras themselves.

In February this year, the biggest issue about police cameras was mounting cameras on Springfield police cruisers, where Mayor Sarno pushed for their installation.

22News spoke with several local residents about body cameras, who said off camera that they don’t agree with the idea of having them if they were to come to Springfield. Those people told 22News they worried they would have to pay taxes for these camera installations, and that the cameras themselves would be an invasion of privacy.

One person told 22News she likes the idea of police having these body cameras on police.

“I think it would be a great idea,” says Iris Diaz from Atlanta, GA, who was visiting Springfield. “It would be not only for the citizens but also for the police to have all the story, so I think it will be very beneficial.”

The Worcester police department has about 440 officers, and they are discussing who out of those officers would get cameras, and what the policies would be to turn them off or keep them recording.

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