SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Springfield Police Department is rolling out its body-worn camera program.
A dozen officers and supervisors have been trained in their use as of Friday and officials say the entire force of nearly 500 officers will be trained trained by the end of summer.
“I have always said that I see body-worn cameras as something that will help us, not hurt us. Now more than ever I believe they will protect us,” police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said in a statement.
Only school resource officers will not wear the cameras over student privacy concerns.
Body-worn cameras issued to police officers will not have night vision or facial recognition capabilities.
“I am happy to see the fruits of our labor paying off as our Springfield Police Department begins to deploy and utilize our body-worn cameras,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement. “From the beginning, I strongly believe that this program will help our efforts to assure best practices, improve our policies and practices, while taking advantage of new technology,”
The Springfield Police Department is believed to be the only department launching a body-worn camera program during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the department.
The program is expected to cost between $2.5 million and $3 million. Springfield received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for the program.