Digital Communities

Worcester, Mass., Close to Testing Police Body Cameras

Worcester is the latest Massachusetts city to try out body-worn cameras, a transparency and accountability tool that has spread in popularity among U.S. police departments in the last several years.

by Aviva Luttrell, MassLive.com / December 5, 2018
Shutterstock

(TNS) — Some Worcester, Mass., police officers will soon begin wearing body cameras after the city and police union reached a contract agreement that includes a framework for a Body Worn Camera pilot program.

"This pilot program will inform us on the value of this technology and allow us to address concerns regarding the use and effectiveness of the equipment, budgetary requirements, as well as issues of safety, privacy and other related topics," City Manger Edward M. Augustus Jr. wrote in a memo to city councilors.

Augustus said he will submit further information to the council once specific details of the program are finalized. The goal, he said, is to use the pilot program to guide a permanent plan.

The city has not released a timeline for the rollout of the program.

Worcester has been exploring the possibility of fitting officers with wearable cameras since at least 2014.

Other cities across the state have been implementing similar programs, as well.

This summer, Springfield laid out a three-phase plan to purchase and outfit its police department with body cams. Boston has already begun phasing in the technology and piloted a one-year body cam program that ended in September 2017.

©2018 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.