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Boston City Council to Consider Body Cameras for Police

August 04, 2015  | 

Photo: Boston PD Facebook Page
Photo: Boston PD Facebook Page

A proposal to equip Boston police with body cameras — a measure being tried in several major cities in the aftermath of police-involved shootings nationwide — will get its first public airing Wednesday in a City Council hearing, but the city's top officials are taking a cautious approach to the contentious issue, reports the Boston Globe.

"We're not ruling it out," Police Commissioner William B. Evans said last week. "We're taking a slow methodical look at the benefits. I don't want to firmly commit us until it's vetted across the country."

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who shifted his position on the issue last year, said he and Evans are considering participating in a pilot program, but he has qualms.

"It really hasn't been shown to even build trust in the community," Walsh said. "If you're going to do something, I don't know that you have to legislate. I think a conversation with the commissioner and the command staff is the way to go."

Evans raised concerns over issues of constitutionality, privacy, costs, and the cameras' effect on the department's relationship with the community.

"Cameras are only a small part of the solution," Evans said. "Working hard to build strong relationships and building their trust and respect, that's what it's going to take to address what's going on around the country — not a gadget on someone's lapel."

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

kevCopAz @ 8/4/2015 6:46 PM

Im still open to cameras I have seen them save officers from untrue claims and helped in prosections. But as a retired detective I would think that if folks know that they are on film all the time it will effect witnesses either participation at all (not wanting to be know as witnesses) or even make other "play for the camera" and ham it up. I know that many many times people at first don't want to talk to PD unless they are "kept out of it". Later after the fear goes away and they think about it they will come forward, but at first glance the camera may intimidate them. I know back in the "old days" before pre-wired interview rooms when we placed a tape recorder in front of witnesses or suspects the entire dynamic changed. Many refused to talk on tape but would without the tape or stop talking and clam up entirely!. . Doesn't make sense to us sometimes but it did to them.

Jon Retired LEO @ 8/4/2015 7:47 PM

Body cameras or not the media and the general public are going to believe what they want to if it is a white officer and a black criminal.

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