Following a recent legal battle between the Boston police union and the city, the department’s body camera program will launch as early as next week.
The trend of police body camera adoption appears to roll on in Boston. Although it has gotten off to a rocky start, Boston appears ready to begin a six-month pilot program for body-equipped cameras for police officers.
Originally agreed to on July 12, the program would be voluntary. However, when Police Commissioner William Evans asked officers to volunteer, he was turned down repeatedly. In response he assigned 100 officers to wear the cameras and participate in the pilot.
This action led the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association to file an injunction that would have halted the program, which was to go live Monday, Sept. 12.
A city attorney argued that the only reason the commissioner assigned the cameras to officers was because the police union deliberately did not encourage officers to volunteer, accusing the union of having “unclean hands.”
On Sept. 9, Suffolk County Judge Douglas Wilkins put the program back on track by denying the injunction.
Both sides have agreed that the introduction of police body cameras is inevitable, and though union President Patrick Rose was disappointed with the ruling, he said he's excited to show the great work Boston Police Department officers do.