More discussion needed before Springfield Police use body cameras

Springfield City Council votes in favor of body camera proposal

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Conversations into whether or not police should be wearing body-mounted cameras have been popping up nationwide, following growing allegations of police brutality.

Now, the Springfield City Council has now voted in favor of a proposal for police officers to adopt the use of body-mounted cameras.

“Now they’ll have their side of the story and the other guys side of the story and they’ll find out who is lying and who is telling the truth. I think it’s a good idea,” Calvin Williams, from Springfield, told 22News.

However, the use of body cameras is not a done deal in Springfield. In order to put that program into effect it has to be agreed upon by police in the next round of collective bargaining negotiations.

The police officer’s current contract expires June 2016.

Some people in Springfield told 22News they’re surprised putting body cameras in effect isn’t a mandated measure, while others say a discussion about how they will be used is a must.

“I think there’s pros and cons to everything and I think any major change like that would warrant a healthy discussion,” Danette Chorney, who works in Springfield, said.

Springfield City Councilor Orlando Ramos says they plan to use federal funding to pay for the cost of the body cameras, should both the city and police officers come to an agreement on their use.

At the start of this month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced 20 million dollars will be up for grabs as part of a competitive grant program for police departments nationwide to buy body cameras and train officers on their use.

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